Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ballooning Pioneer in Philly

From the April 19, 2010 New Yorker, "The Ice Balloon," by Alex Wilkinson (online version only available to subscribers):

There is a mention of the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Here is a brief excerpt:

In Philadelphia, [S. A.] Andree got a job as a janitor at the Swedish Pavilion. The American ballooning pioneer John Wise lived in Philadelphia, and Andree went to see him. Wise had flown balloons "in sunshine, rain, snow, thunder showers and hurricanes," Andree wrote. "He had been stuck on chimneys, smoke stacks, lightning rods and church spires, and he had been dragged through rivers, lakes, and over garden plots and forests primeval. His balloons had whirled like tops, caught fire, exploded and fallen to the ground like stones. The old man himself, however, had always escaped unhurt and counted his experiences as proof of how safe the art of flying really was."

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