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The Pictorial Times, Gas and Aerostation

 Digital Record
Identifier: VBI_000507


  • Creation: 1847 September 12

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

George Burcher Gale (1794-1850) was a British Navy Lieutenant and amateur aeronaut and inventor. In 1847 he designed and built a balloon meant to combat the difficulties faced by loss of gas at high altitudes. His "Newly Invented Aerostatic Machine" had a central balloon and two auxiliary balloons which could be inflated as needed mid-voyage. It also was designed with a second car that could be lowered 20 or 30 feet below the upper car. The first ascent of this balloon was made from the Rosemary Branch Tavern, Peckham, on April 7, 1847.

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

Box 23

Physical Description



2 pages; 41.8 x 29.6 cm

General Note

Article about inflating George Gale’s balloon at Vauxhall and transporting it on a steamer up the Thames to the Cremorne Gardens for its ascent. An illustration shows the balloon over the Vauxhall Bridge, tethered to ropes from the steamer. "Sept. 12, 1847" is handwritten on the bottom of page 202.

General Note

The Pictorial Times: A Weekly Journal of News, Literature, Fine Arts, and the Drama

Sources used for Biographical/Historical note

Hodgson, J.E., History of Aeronautics in Great Britain (Oxford University Press, London, 1924), 237-238.

Coxwell, Henry Tracy, My life and balloon experiences. (W.H. Allen, London, 1887), 55-57.

Sala, George Augustus, The life and adventures of George Augustus Sala, written by himself (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1895), 238.

Repository Details

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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
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