An early ballooning disaster, c 1785.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of four illustrations in colour wash showing an early balloon voyage ending in disaster. The world's first aerial disaster occurred on 15 June 1785 when the French scientist and aeronaut, Jean Francois Pilatre De Rozier, made an ill-fated attempt to cros the English Channel. The balloon he was in caught fire in mid-air and crashed to the ground, whereupon De Rozier was killed. This series of illustrations depicts an imaginary event involving a hot air-balloon which is blown off-balance by bad weather, throwing its two pasengers out of their gondola.