- Creation: 1825 April 16
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
Charles Green (1785-1870) was one of the 19th century’s most celebrated aeronauts. He made over 500 ascents in his career, primarily in his native England. These ascents included the first voyage in a balloon filled with coal-gas. Most of Green’s ascents were made in his Royal Vauxhall Balloon, built in August, 1836. Among these was an 18 hour, 480 mile journey undertaken in November 1836 from Vauxhall Gardens in London to Nassau in Germany. Green was accompanied on this record-breaking trip by Robert Hollond and Monck Mason. Thereafter, the Vauxhall Balloon was known as the “Nassau” or “Royal Nassau” balloon. The details of this trip are written in Monck Mason’s "Aeronautica" (1838). In 1840 Green proposed a cross-Atlantic flight which generated much publicity but never took place. Charles Green was also involved in the tragic death of amateur parachutist Robert Cocking, whose fatal descent was made from the Nassau balloon piloted by Green. He retired from ballooning in 1852.
Other members of Charles Green’s family were also professional aeronauts. His brothers William, Henry and James all made public ascents, as did his first wife. His son Charles George Green made over 100 ascents before his death in 1864.
Margaret Graham (b. 1804), and George Graham, known as "Mr. and Mrs. Graham," were active balloonists in England from 1823-c. 1853. Mrs. Graham was the more active aeronaut and made her first balloon ascent in the company of her husband, on June 2, 1824. In July 1836, she ascended for the first time with another woman, marking the first recorded ascent by women alone. The Grahams’ ballooning careers were marked by difficult ascensions and accidents, involving both their solo flights and those made with together. Mrs. Graham’s last recorded balloon ascension was made on August 19, 1853 from the Rotunda Gardens in Dublin.
Language of Materials
Existence and Location of Originals
2 pages; 20.7 x 11.9 cm
Article from the Circulator of Useful Knowledge about the ascent of Charles Green and his brother George on Easter Monday, April 4, 1825. The article includes an account from the brothers as well as an illustration of people watching the ascent over London from a rooftop. A short article about George Graham’s ascent of the same day appears on the second page.
The Circulator of Useful Knowledge, Literature, Amusement, and General Information
Crouch, Tom D., The Eagle Aloft, Two Centuries of the Balloon in America (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1983), 178.
Hodgson, J.E., History of Aeronautics in Great Britain (Oxford University Press, London, 1924), 241-262.
Rolt, L.T.C., The Aeronauts: A History of Ballooning 1783-1903 (Walker, New York, 1966), 118, 121-130.
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