Balloons are a great commodity to modern life. They are a bright and colourful inclusion to any party, fun for children and adults alike. But, the history of balloons is a lot longer and grander than you might expect! Such a long history has meant that a world of great (and unknown) facts about balloons exist.
So, put on your pub quiz hat for some of the best – little known – facts about balloons!
Before toy balloons were invented people inflated pig bladders and animal intestines. But, they were also popular in Ancient China. As early as 220AD, the Chinese used lanterns (a paper balloon) in as a signal for messages during military operations. These lanterns were known as Kongming lanterns. In effect, these were small hot air balloons as they have a small opening at the bottom where a small fire is used to lift the balloon into the air. Today, these ancient balloons are still used in Asian festivals such as New Years and other traditional events.
The First ‘Modern’ Balloon
The first balloon that led to our modern variations was a rubber variant created in 1824 by Michael Faraday. They were created during his experiments with hydrogen, where he wrote that bags made of it became extremely elasticated when the air was forced into them and the expansion made the balloon become transparent. He then began to fill them with hydrogen and noted that they had ‘considerable ascending power.’ Toy balloons soon followed and they have largely remained unchanged in the two centuries we have been enjoying them!
The Highest Balloon Flight
Felix Baumgartner set the altitude record for a manned balloon flight at 39.045km on October 14, 2012, in a gas balloon. Baumgartner is an Austrian skydiver; this was part of the Red Bull Stratos Project in which he jumped from the helium balloon towards the earth. He broke records for exit altitude, vertical freefall distance and vertical speed without drogue. The event also marked the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular assistance! A spectacular achievement, only possible with the lifting power of balloons!
We here at Fill n Away strive to provide the helium to fulfil your needs. Have a party you want to brighten up with an assortment of balloons? Or do you need helium for a longer term project? Both options are available to you. So don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 195 4445. We here at Fill n Away are dedicated to providing you with all of your party needs.