Arnold's parachute accident, 31 August 1785.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Monochrome print entitled 'A View of the Royal Circus from St George's Fields at the time of the Ascension of Arnold's Balloon'. Stuart Amos Arnold ascended in a balloon from St George's Fields on 31 August 1785. George Appleby, a brave sailor who had agreed to attempt an early parachute descent, was suspended beneath the balloon. However, as the balloon rose it hit some railings, detaching the parachute which fell to the ground. The basket carrying Arnold and his son then struck a cart and also fell, taking Arnold with it. His son was left clinging to the hoop of the balloon as it shot up into the sky. The over-inflated balloon then burst, plunging Arnold's son into Rotherhithe docks, where he was miraculously fished out unharmed. Dimensions: 140mm x 114mm.