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Aeronautics and Grand Balloon Experiments

 Digital Record
Identifier: VBI_000225


  • Creation: c. 1838-1852

Conditions Governing Use

Access to the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Images, Broadsides and Clippings is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

Biographical / Historical

John Hampton (b. 1799) made over a hundred flights in his balloons 'Albion' and 'Erin-go-bragh' between 1838 and 1852. On June 8,1838 he also became the first Englishman to make a successful parachute jump. In 1837 Hampton founded the 'Albion Aeronautic Association' to promote scientific study through ballooning. "The Aerial Messenger" periodical was printed by this organization and distributed via balloon. In 1844, Hampton built the "Erin-go-bragh" balloon, which featured a new type of valve designed to release ballast evenly in order to ease balloon landings.

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

Box 10

Physical Description



48.0 x 21.9 cm

General Note

Broadside advertising three days of aeronautic experiments, including the exhibition of John Hampton’s arctic surveying balloon and safety parachute.

Sources used for Biographical/Historical note

Hodgson, J.E., History of Aeronautics in Great Britain (Oxford University Press, London, 1924), 233-235, 335.

Wheatley, Henry Benjamin, and Peter Cunningham. London, past and present; a dictionary of its history, associations, and traditions. (Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1968) 131.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US