The opening of New London Bridge with Green's balloon, 1 August 1831.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured aquatint showing six views of the opening of New London Bridge. Civil engineer John Rennie (1761-1821) was asigned the task of building a new bridge in 1801. His design was for a bridge of five stone arches a little upriver from the old bridge. Following his death in 1821, his son John continued with the project and building of the bridge began in 1824. The new bridge was opened by King William IV (1765-1837) and Queen Adelaide (1792-1849) during a river pageant on 1 August 1831. The balloon illustrated above the bridge in the top left image belonged to the English aeronaut Charles Green (1785-1870), and was probably launched in connection with the opening ceremony. Published by Summers & Smith, 12 Tabernacle Walk, Finsbury Square, London.