'An English Balloon', 1784.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Satirical etching by Paul Sandby, showing a caricature of the failed ascent of Allen Keegan's balloon from Lord Foley's garden in Portland Place, London. The balloon is depicted as the head of a jester in a fool's cap. Inscribed on the cap are eight lines of anonymous verse, berating the public obsesion with ballooning and 'the mad folks of England'. The four lines to the left and right of the balloon are from Pope's 'Duncead'. This ascent was due to take place on 29 September 1784. However, the balloon failed to get off the ground and was destroyed by an angry mob. Dimensions: 280mm x 425mm.