Major Mony's Perilous Situation When he fell into the Sea July, 23, 1785, off the Coast of Yarmouth.


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of the Norfolk Charitable Trust


Print, Etching on Paper, Colored


2-D - Unframed (H x W): 13.2 × 20.6cm (5 3/16 × 8 1/8 in.)


May 1, 1820

Physical Description

  • Colored etching of Major John Money (1752-1817) standing on his submerged gondola and holding on to the a balloon as he is dragged over the surface of the sea. His name is mispelled in the title printed below the image.
  • On the afternoon of July 22, 1785, Major John Money, on half-pay form the 15th Light Dragoons, took off from the Ranleigh Gardens, Norwich, to raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. A skilled horseman, he had made only one previous ascent from London in the British Balloon. By 6pm on the evening of the launch, he was seen crossing Lowestoft, unable to descend and heading out over the North Sea. The balloon descended as the air cooled, depositing Money in the water on the Long Shoals, a dangerous area for ships. He abandoned his basket and climbed onto the load ring of the balloon, keeping enough hydrogen in the envelope to keep him afloat. He was rescued by the lifesaving vessel Argus, out of Lowestoft, at midnight.
  • He had served under Gen. John Burgoyne, was captured at Saratoga, and spent time as an American POW. Later, during the Napoleonic Wars he was commissioned as Major General serving with the rebel Austrian forces.
  • 'Engraved by Owen, from a Drawing by Thurston, for the Gallery of Nature & Art. London, Published by R.N. Rose, 45 Holborn Hill, May 1, 1820.'


ART-Prints, Original

Inventory Number


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