Skip to main content

John Bull, Sunday, August 28, 1836

 Digital Record
Identifier: VBI_000539

Dates

  • Creation: 1836 August 28, November 13, October 9, January 24, November 20

Creator

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.

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

English

Existence and Location of Originals

Box 24

Physical Description

Other

Dimensions

10 pages; 30.0 x 42.9 cm

General Note

Pages from different editions of the John Bull newspaper containing accounts of various balloon ascents and other items related to aeronautics. Specific mentions: Mrs. Graham’s ascent with the Duke of Brunswick and an account of her accident (page 274); Charles Green’s voyage across the Channel to Nassau (page 400); A poem/song about Green’s ascent with members of the Cabinet (page 337); and an account by Monck Mason of the arrival of the Nassau [Vauxhall] balloon.

General Note

John Bull

Sources used for Biographical/Historical note

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.

Repository Details

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

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