America’s First Manned Gas Balloon Ride

AMERICA’S FIRST MANNED GAS BALLOON RIDE

Carolyn C. Holland       

The cheers rising from inside Walnut Street Prison Yard walls were soon followed by yells of pleasure from the multitudes of people gathered beyond the prison walls. The overflow crowd, half the city’s population, covered the city’s vacant lots and housetops, as well as on the hills for miles around.
     It was mid-morning, January 9, 1793. The shops were closed. No trades were made, no business was being undertaken. Starting at sunrise, cannons discharged incessantly. An atmosphere of celebration and anticipation surrounded the city of Philadelphia.

    Shortly after ten o’clock the crowd’s excitement peaked. The multitudes watched a huge green silk balloon ascend into the skies. Its passenger observed the throngs from the basket that hung below the balloon.  

AMERICA'S FIRST GAS BALLOON RIDE

     America’s first untethered, manned, gas balloon* flight had begun. Piloted by (to continue reading, click on: AMERICA’S FIRST MANNED HOT AIR BALLOON

ADDITIONAL READING:

BLANCHARD: THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL AERONAUT

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