The destruction of the 'Victoria & Albert' balloon, 16 June 1851.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Coloured print. George Graham and his wife Margaret made numerous balloon ascents in Britain between the 1820s and the 1850s, most of which ended in disaster, and were as famous for their apparent good fortune in surviving these adventures as for their aeronautical skills. The couple made this ascent in the 'Victoria & Albert' balloon to celebrate the Great Exhibition year. However, they were forced to discharge ballast rapidly after narrowly avoiding a collision with Crystal Palace and lost control of the balloon, which skimmed over a number of rooftops before eventually crashing into Colonel North's house in Arlington Street, Piccadilly, leaving the building damaged and the aeronauts badly injured. Published 18 June 1851 by Ackermann 7 Co, 96 Strand, London. Dimensions: 215mm x 295mm.