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A Brief History of Ballooning

history-ofHot Air Ballooning began in France in 1783 when the Montgolfier brothers thought it would make a wonderful promotional device to display their wallpaper patterns.

In the beginning they thought, after watching smoke rise from chimneys, that smoke rather than heat was the mysterious element with which they could make a balloon rise. To that extent they purposely made the fires that heated their balloons as smoky as possible by throwing on damp straw or even old shoes!

In any case, ballooning began in France and through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin was introduced to America 10 years later. The first balloon flight in America launched from Philadelphia—our nation’s Capitol at the time– in 1793.

Wittnesses present at this historic first American balloon flight included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Ross.

Ballooning was very popular, especially in Europe, as a hobby and spectacle for about 100 years. Once the airplane was developed, ballooning became impractical by comparison. You could now actually pick your destination and fly much faster!

It wasn’t until the 1950’s when modern fabrics and propane burner systems were developed that ballooning, as we know it today, began to re-evolve and become the safe and practical sport it is today.

NJ hot air balloon rides have become a familiar sight to thousands of residents of the western part of our state. Come to NJ and enjoy hot air ballooning at its finest. A balloon flight is absolutely the best way to view the wonderful rural landscapes of Hunterdon County.