History of the Balloon – From Hydrogen to Helium

Inside the early 1900s, Mentor Michael Faraday in his laboratory of the Noble Institution working in london, uk, experimented with rubber balloons he previously made him self out of caoutchouc (Latex) sheets. He inflated them with Hydrogen gas and was elated with the results, which he written about thoroughly. He wrote in his scientific journal: “The caoutchouc is exceedingly flexible. Bags made of it… have been expanded by having air forced into them before the élastique was quite transparent.. inches and later on, “When expanded by Hydrogen, the rubber bags were so light as to form balloons with considerable climbing power.. ” Tente boudin type Spider

In the following years toy balloons became a motive of merriment and entertainment for children and adults equally. Therefore, wholesale balloons were created and employed in birthday parties, celebrations, political and commercial campaigns, and so forth 

Filling the balloons with Hydrogen gas, brought on these to be buoyant and in a position to rise quite high and be driven considerably away with the years. Races and contests developed nation-wide and amazing tales are told, like that of your man releasing a balloon with his name from the USA that got picked up by a fisherman in Singapore. Or a Mickey Mouse button –shaped balloon that shocked a group of residents in Africa.

Extensive research to research the probable was done by the scientific and military neighborhoods, who -prior to the First World War- started out using these balloons as probes to formulate the ascension and flight a vast amount of greater balloons, ending with the construction of the big Zeppelins. The research and information collected was very useful.

The probes were used to gauge the air currents over the earth and calculate the altitude that the bigger balloons –and later the airplanes– could fly against the wind. This all analysis assisted to develop the near future speed of the early aviation.

Hydrogen being quite volatile, easily explodes if close enough to a way to obtain fire. Several serious accidents happened when randomly floating Hydrogen-filled balloons collided with fire resources and exploded. The flames department of NY Town was concerned and 1914 proposed banning the utilization of Hydrogen in toy balloons. It was not until 1922 that its use was officially banned, after some prankster caused the explosion of balloon accessories during a City Function and an officer was badly burned.

Though hydrogen had one tenth more lifting power than any other gas, because of its danger, had to be replaced by the much safer gas Helium. Today, Helium balloons are the party balloons most sold worldwide.