Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sadler's Balloon Ascent in 1811

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Mr. Sadler's Balloon Ascent
Loretta reports:

In Last Night’s Scandal, my hero and heroine visit a stone commemorating an early balloon ascent by the Tuscan Vincent Lunardi.  Balloon ascensions continued to be very popular entertainment in the 19th century, featuring frequently at Vauxhall Gardens, among other places.

During this week in 1811, England’s first balloonist, James Sadler, made one of his many ascents, this time in honor of the Prince Regent's birthday.  As the account at the Pennine Region Balloon Association makes clear, Sadler’s adventures could be extremely exciting.  (Please scroll down the page for the Gentleman’s Magazine description of what happened when he got caught in a gale on 7 October 1811.)

Text on print: "A view of the balloon of Mr. Sadler's ascending with him and Captain Paget of the Royal Navy from the gardens of the Mermaid Tavern at Hackney on Monday, August 12, 1811. The Balloon ascended at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and descended safe near Tilbury Fort in Essex at 20 minutes past."

Illustration courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the Library of Congress page for this print, where you can further enlarge it.


Debrafide said...

Hello! I was really pleased to see this post and when I read it as first up for one, I know were the Mermaid Pub is, as it is a Fabric shop now and I have been in it, as I love fabric. I have found out now that this could be the one built after 1845 when the one across the road was closed and demolished. History can be so much fun researching it, as I have found out since taking on my journey with the Edwardian Lady Parachutist: Dolly Shepherd – a remarkable woman with a wonderful and interesting story to tell. Although known to some, unfortunately not known to many and now with her biography out of print, she and her female aeronaut counter parts are almost forgotten. R.I.P Dolly Shepherd – Gone, But Not Forgotten, at least not by me anyway. Have fun researching and writing girls! Debs*

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