Press enter after choosing selection


Ballooning image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The fitst balloon, proper, to BBcend the skies was that of the brothers Joscph and Etdenne Moutgolüer, tbc iirst-mentioned being tho father of aorostatiou. The experimenta made by them date from 1782. The grand public j tjpn was mado Jone 5, 1783, iu the i ence of mauy of the Freneh nobility. i Frasee has always been foreniost in tlie. use of the balloon. Tho iirst voyago in the air was scicntifically reported, and beai a the Bignatures oí' several eminent men, IJeujamin Fraukliu among the ler. Naturally he took an especial interest in it. Ilis genius had tamed I tho lightnings of heaven, and it was hoped that Montgolñer had lcarned the secret of navigatitig the air with rapidity and safety. Vastly more interest was taken iu the aerial sliip than in Franklin's kito ; but time has shown that the Amcrican's disoovery was iniinitely more important to mankind than the Frcnchmau's. It mnst be confessed that the balloon has j roved a disappointment in its c -alit.y. Except in extremo emergenoi b, itbisuot risen above the level of a mero cu iosity, and if thero is any way to utiliza the air as an element of navigatf.Jli, ita discovery is still to be made. We have mentioned the monument erectbd in memory of the iirst balloon exploit in England, and given its inscription. That memorial would indícate B very pious state of society, but the re-al condition of England at the time may bo better inferred f rom the fact thatflomo days later the acronaut was summoned to theroyal palaeo, and tho Queen, who was at play at the gambling-table when he made Iris apponrancc, placed a uní for hiin apon a card, and presentad him witli the purse whioh she won. In this country many suecessful balloon ascensions have been made by Mesan. Wise, Steiuer, La Mountain, Low, liiug, Donaldson and others, but without any important results to seienoe. The vintims of aeronáutica have been 1 somewhat nuinei-Dus. The iiret in the list was Pilatre des Rozféïs. Jüanchard had ei):-L'd from luigluud to Franco by baloou, and Kozièr liad tried to make the return trip, notwithstaiulijig the akatá contrarfty of tho wind. He pesished in the endeavor. The grand tiï iïi - culty is that a balloon is tho veriest slajfi of the itm.;splii:re. A hipean tack, anchor, and tho like. Let thjB water rage cv.t bo iiei'cely, r.nd a good ship outrides tho storm, unles-ilightning, rock, or ome other deatroying agciicv, rein"oreeK wind and water. Bnt a balloon m at the meroy of au element in nature whioh is proverbial for ücklouess and lary. " Fickle as the wind," " terrible as a hurricane," are familiar phrasos suggestivc of the porils of ballooning. diwovery ( Montgolñer is almost worthleBS, and seems to tempt courage to the brink of foolhardiness. In war, balloona have re!i(!c)((l sorne seryiee in ] reoonnoitering and affordins relief in case of cicge. Bacli was notabjy the case during the ld; Franco-Prusaian ar. A Hi-i liiftc trritbr sayd : "The ijuoStiön h t) out a ii'v,' machine capable of flying In tlie air, and at the same time lien-, oí than 1 lic air." .lie a'Jds that ni, i ave the !■ ■ to Btliy ; but a substituto tor lite is the desiderátum, and thus far lio progn i a has been towaj .1 the disoovery of such n Bubstitute. Ail the living machines up to duto have beeu atfcor failuroH,


Old News
Michigan Argus