Stuart Amos Arnold, English aeronaut, c 1785.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'Mr Arnold and his balloon that ascended from St Georges Fields...1785.' Arnold (c 1755-1820?) ascended in his balloon 'Royal George' on 31 August 1785 from St George's Fields, London. With him were his son and George Appleby who was suspended below the balloon in a parachute. Disaster struck on launch when the balloon caught on some railings, (air can be seen escaping from a hole), so that Appleby fell to the ground, shortly before Arnold himself was ejected along with the ballast. The out-of-control balloon ascended rapidly before bursting and dropping Arnold's young son into the River Thames. From the Penn-Gaskell Collection at the Science Museum, London. Published by Sharpe, Portugal St. Dimensions: 95mm x 143mm.