Dangerous Descent of the Aeronauts at Rainham
- Creation: 1840 August 18-30
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.
Language of Materials
Existence and Location of Originals
3 items; 20.9 x 16.2 cm (illustration) 14.1 x 6.9 cm (1st column) 29.1 x. 7.0 cm (2nd column)
First-hand accounts of a difficult balloon descent made in Rainham by Charles Green and Richard Graves MacDonnell on August 17, 1840. An accompanying illustration shows the balloon landing in tall grass during high winds.
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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