Showing posts with label Ballooning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ballooning. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


    Perhaps the most enigmatic of all American stamps, the "Buffalo" balloon stamp is certainly among the premier rarities in aerophilately. This stamp begs the question, “What is an airmail stamp?” Described variously as “experimental,” “semi-official,” “a carrying label,” and even as a vignette or cinderella, the fact remains that it was the first of its kind ever issued. Since it was privately issued for use with a standard U.S. postal service 3-cent stamp to pay for air handling of a mailed piece, it was (if one includes both private and government issues) the world’s first airmail stamp.
  The stamp is an accurate representation of the enormous 92,000 cubic foot “Buffalo” balloon of Professor Samuel Archer King (1828-1914), and was designed by John B. Lillard, a clerk in the Wheeler firm and a passenger on the great flight. The engraver of the stamp was John H. Snively, a scientist who provided apparatus for experiments on the flight. The Buffalo balloon launched from Nashville, Tennessee, on June 18, 1877, and dropped a number of covers, probably in containing envelopes or drop bags sewn to brightly colored nine-foot streamers.  After a Gallatin, Tennessee, landing, there was a second flight the next morning. There were also other, later flights of the "Buffalo", and covers could have been flown on any of those flights.
   Few if any Buffalonians realize not only was the balloon named, honoring this city, "Which has shown so much interest in Aeronautics"(S.A. King), it was actually built right here in Buffalo, quite possibly the first aircraft ever built in the city.  The story follows.

Buffalo Courier Aug. 2, 1873 - Buffalo Morning Express  Aug. 3, Commercial Advertiser 
A Stamped Cover Flown in King's Balloon "Buffalo"
  For some time, past arrangements have been in progress the design of which was to induce Professor S. A. King, the celebrated aeronaut, to visit Buffalo for the purpose of making a Balloon ascension. The gentlemen having the matter in charge desiring to have the ascension a little more noteworthy than is usual on such occasions and also to have it in some benefit to the cause of science... Having satisfied themselves that the requisite amount of funds to defray the expenses of the undertaking, would be cheerfully subscribed by our liberal minded citizens, they opened a correspondence with Prof. King inviting him to come on with his monster balloon "Collossus" of about ninety thousand feet.  But the "Colossus" proved to be an unlucky balloon, having been twice wrecked by storms when fully inflated...and although well repaired, she was not considered by Prof. King to be just the thing.  He therefore replied that he would accept the proposition made to him, but instead of using the "Colossus" would come to Buffalo and build a new balloon to be named after the place of residence of those through whose liberality, the means for it's construction were to be forthcoming.
Prof. Samuel Archer King
    The co-operation of Prof. King being secured, it was found necessary to build a balloon expressly for the ascension. This work has been going on for several days and as public curiosity has been excited to a great extent regarding this matter, a reporter  of the Express called on Prof King yesterday for the purpose of gaining such information as would be of interest to our readers.
Since Prof. S. A. King has been in town, the public pulse has been felt with regard to raising funds for the proposed ascension, and the response has been unexpectedly liberal. Buffalo is advancing in both population and enterprise, and little matters of this sort show the fact. Thursday the cloth for the balloon was bought. The cloth selected is that which combines in the greater degree the qualities of firmness and lightness. Through the kindness of Capt. E. P. Dorr, a large room in the Aetna Insurance Building has been placed at the disposal of Prof. King, and the bag of the balloon will be built there.  The work of cutting out was commenced yesterday, and it is a very scientific operation. Those who have never investigated the work would be astonished to see how much mathematics are required in perfecting the pattern. Next in order will be the stitching. When the bag is subsequently varnished, all will be in readiness, as the car, net, etc. are already built. ...It will be the largest airship that ever rose in the country.
Aetna Insurance Buildings ( left) Where Balloon was constructed
Prime & Lloyd St.
  The Professor was found in a large room in the Aetna Insurance Co.'s building (Prime & Loyd Streets), busily engaged in supervising the construction of his airship, which is to be one of the largest size. The bag is to be of the best Wamsutta Mills cotton, of which fourteen hundred yards will be used. The cloth was first cut from patterns prepared by the Professor, and is now being sewed into five sections of twelve breadths each as a preliminary.  The cotton cloth is joined by a raised seam about an eighth of an inch wide, sewed twice  in order to secure strength. Stays, made of four thicknesses of cloth and about one half inch in width, are next sewed on to morning the sections horizontally and thirty nine inches apart. There are to be twenty four of these stays on the balloon. The sewing of these stays having been finished, the several sections will be seamed together, the seams joined, then the bag will be ready for varnishing, which process will take about two weeks, several barrels of varnish being required, together with the utmost care, to prevent the spontaneous combustion of the whole mass.
 The work involved in construction will be seen in a glance to be considerable. The seams are each 95 feet in length from "valve" to "neck," 60 in number, each done twice, make 3,800 yards of stitching, while the stays require nearly as much more. This work is being done on seven Singer Sewing Machines, operated by girls, who are under the immediate supervision of the professor.

The balloon, when inflated, will be in the form of a sphere, excepting of course, the elongation of the neck. The circumference will be about 170 feet, the diameter 56 feet. It will contain 90,000 cubic feet of gas, having a supporting capacity of about 3,600 pounds.  The height from the bottom of the car to the top of the bag, will be about 82 feet.
   The network, car and anchors are ready, having been forwarded from the east some days ago. The network is of cotton twine one hundred and forty three threads each, each cord being strong enough to maintain between three to four hundred pounds. The car is of basket-work, oval in shape, with an out-rigged side and back for seats, and will accommodate fourteen persons, although it is not likely that more than six will make the ascent.  In addition there will be a smaller basket fastened to the rings above.  Two anchors will be carried, one an ordinary boat's anchor, for catching in the ground, the other a grapnel for roots, bush or fences. The gas will be controlled by a valve in the top of the balloon, twenty-five inches in diameter, which when opened will permit gas to escape at the rate of a thousand feet a minute. As a safeguard against accidents, a collapse chord is inserted in the side of the balloon in such a manner, that a strong pull will open an entire breadth, permitting all the gas to escape at once. This will be only used in case of great danger, such as would be occasioned by the dragging of the car.

Buffalo Courier August 12, 1873 There are few spectacles more attractive than a grand balloon ascension, and every means will be taken to advertise this one sufficiently to bring many thousand people into the city. The surrounding country will be thoroughly billed, arrangements will be made with railroads for special trains: indeed we anticipate that "Ascension Day" will be a general holiday. It is the intention of Prof. King to make as long and notable trip as possible.  One that will always be notorious in the annals of ballooning. He has a habit of carrying out his intensions. 
Buffalo Express August 21, 1873   The  work of constructing the "Buffalo"--which is to be the name of the mammoth balloon in which Prof. S. A. King intends going up early next month--is rapidly progressing.  The cutting and stitching of the cloth was commenced some three weeks ago in a large room in the Aetna Buildings.  The stitching on the immense airship is now nearly finished, and before the close of the present week the "stitchers" will be discharged. 

The decorations
of the bag of the balloon deserve special mention.  They have been elaborated by the artists in the employ of Fred Stanfield, the scenic painter of the Academy of Music, and have cost a nice little sum. From the neck or bottom of the balloon crimson stripes, alternating with the white cloth, will run up a distance of about thirty feet. Above this, surrounding the balloon, is a drapery of azure blue, with tassels pendent; above that a band in crimson, a foot wide, and above that, scroll work in purple.  Above the scroll work, in the middle of the globe, is the name "Buffalo", in letters seven feet high, and upon the other side, the picture of a wild Buffalo will be delineated.

August 30, 1873  Buffalo Daily Courier   Prof. King has devoted his entire time to the construction of this balloon, and we are convinced has made the most beautiful airship that has ever sought the upper regions of the world. It will be larger by fifty percent than the immense "Hyperion" in which Mr. King has made two ascensions from this city, and larger than any balloon that has ever left the ground. Prof. King stakes his reputation as an aeronaut upon the perfection of this balloon, and has spared no time or expense in it's construction. The stitching was all finished last night and today the balloon will be taken to the country to receive it's coat of oil.

Commercial Advertiser Sept. 8 1873  
   The mammoth balloon "Buffalo", built by Prof. S. A. King, for the ascension from this city on Tuesday the 16th., will receive the third coating of varnish, and the fourth and finishing coat will be put on, probably next Wednesday, should the weather be favorable for drying. Everything will be in readiness by Monday next, and the balloon will probably be removed to the place of filling on the night of that day, to be in readiness for commencement of operations on Tuesday.  Arrangements have been made with the Buffalo Gaslight Company for tapping the main pipe in Church Street probably in the park or the Terrace, and furnish ninety-one thousand feet of gas, which will be necessary for the full inflation of the balloon.

Buffalo Express  Sept. 15 1873  
Prof. King's mammoth balloon "Buffalo" is almost completed. The fourth and last coat of varnish will be put on today, and, weather permitting, the ascent will positively take place tomorrow. The airship will be removed from it's present quarters at Cold Spring to the Terrace Park from which the ascent will be made at an early hour Tuesday morning, and the work of inflation will commence immediately. It is expected that everything will be in readiness and the start made between the the hours of twelve and one. Buffalo takes an active interest in the subject of balloons like the rest of the world and is to witness tomorrow the fulfillment of an important enterprise in this line.
  Through the liberality of our citizens Mr. King has been able to construct the finest airship ever made on this continent. He has carefully superintended all the details of the work and our citizens are to look upon a new product of their industry of which they, as well as the distinguished aeronaut, have every reason to feel proud. In compliment to the city which has manifested so warm an interest in his welfare, he has christened his skyward bound craft, The "Buffalo". With three or four companions he will sail early tomorrow afternoon for his initial cruise in his new and beautiful aerostat, and all will unite in wishing the party a pleasant and prosperous voyage.

Commercial Advertiser September 16, 1873  
"The Buffalo" was completed in readiness for the voyage yesterday afternoon at Cold Springs, Prof. King himself giving the finishing touches  to the valve, by which the balloon can be exploded if necessary. The preparations were made at the corner of Church Street and the Terrace, the gas pipe was tapped and everything made ready for the inflation.  The Balloon was not removed from Cold Springs, however, until this morning on account of the dubious nature of the weather. This morning early the balloon was brought from Cold Springs, and preparations were made for commencing the inflation. The wind still blew high, but Prof. King decided to proceed with the work and make the ascension today.

Commercial Advertiser Sept. 18, 1873   The "Buffalo" which is, without a doubt, the most beautiful as well as the best constructed balloon that ever left American soil to soar beyond the clouds.  ...She is of ninety-one thousand cubic feet capacity, with an extreme height, when inflated, of eighty-four feet from the bottom of the basket to the valve on top, and is the largest balloon ever ascended in this country.  
   We presume most of our readers feel some degree of curiosity as to the "out-fit" of the balloon... as to the scientific instruments there was a fine aneroid barometer for measuring altitude; a hygrometer(a wet and dry bulb thermometer for measuring humidity and temperature); a pocket compass and a repeating watch,-the latter taken in order, if necessary, time might be ascertained after dark.  The barometer and hydrometer, were in charge of Mr. Holden, by whom observations were taken and recorded every two minutes. For ballast there were eighteen bags of sand weighing from fifty to seventy-five pounds each.  A basket containing four carrier pigeons, furnished by Mr. John Fantom, of this city, also were taken.  The "stores" consisted of an elegant and sumptuous lunch furnished by Mr. P. L. Hodges, of the Bloomer House, and other "refreshments" provided by Messrs. L. Gillig and Sons, P. J. Hanour, D. J. Sprague, V. L. Tiphaine and F. B. Harvey.

"Buffalo"Balloon on the Terrace, Buffalo NY
Buffalo Express Sept. 17 1873   
Ascension of the "Buffalo" Yesterday--A large Crowd and a Magnificent Sight
...The history of ballooning is an interesting one. To soar aloft into an unknown region possesses a fascination for those who behold as for those who ascend. Certainly the large number of people who congregated yesterday on the Terrace to witness the ascension of Prof. King in his new mammoth balloon "Buffalo", evinced the deep curiosity and interest generally felt.  The new city buildings and all the other edifices in the neighborhood of the Park were covered with people, anxious to get the best possible view of the novel and unusual sight.
Within the Terrace Park the monster received it's inspiration of the subtle fluid which should bear it upward among the clouds, together with it's precious freight of five human lives. The inflation was finished about 1 o'clock, and the immense globe swayed to and fro, impatient of restraint and longing to be free of it's earthly ties. Inflated, the gigantic airship stood eighty feet high, and, beautifully painted by Mr. Stanfield, the scenic artist of the theatre, projected a very handsome appearance.
"Behind us, the tree-tops glowed with a variety
of lights and shades reflected from the clouds"
It's name "BUFFALO" was painted in large letters, and the whole effect of the painting was very fine an reflected credit upon the artist. Prof. King is a very genial gentleman, who has made the science of ballooning a study, and having made before this, one hundred and sixty-eight ascensions, he possessed sufficient experience in trusting they believe in his aerial vessel.

   Everything being in readiness, the passengers were ordered into the basket. A hundred willing hands at the request of Prof. King, took hold, and the basket and balloon were moved toward the westerly line of the enclosure, to the end that the telegraph wires, and the spire of the neighboring Cathedral, might be avoided... Watching for a lull in the wind he gave the word to "LET GO!" and up went the "Buffalo". It was a triumph of skill, and was one of the nicest feats ever performed by an Aeronaut.  The party consisted of Prof. Samuel A. King, Mr. Luther L. Holden of the Boston Journal, who has made 20 previous ascensions with Prof. King, Mr. George H. Nicholas of the New York Herald, Mr. Walter T. Chester of the Buffalo Courier, and the reporter of the Commercial Advertiser.

Prof. King's Mammoth Balloon "Buffalo"
Altitude 2,000 Ft. From Buffalo to New
Jersey, Five states traversed in 13 hours
Clearing everything handsomely, we were quickly looking downward, while the cheers of the immense multitude rent the very air around us.  Ten thousand steam-whistles, as it seemed, lent the aid of their brazen lungs (if they've got any, which is somewhat problematical) to swell the loud acclaim; and even the tower bell added the weight of it's influence towards increasing the general uproar. Those in the balloon waved hats and handkerchiefs, and cheered with might and main, in response. 

Editors Note:   The story goes on for a few more days as they track across New York State, on their way to NYC, sending homing pigeons to report their progress back to Buffalo. They described beautifully many incredible scenes on their voyage.  The blog would go on for days and days if I tried to put it down on "paper". This was a well documented voyage by the reporters and scientific in nature, taking meteorological readings every few minutes. The purpose of writing the story was to document the fact that it was built here in "Buffalo", a fact that was lost in history. Most likely the first aircraft ever built in this city! Today's significance is that it was built in the Canal-Side development on the waterfront. That area of the city has so much history to discover, they have barely scratched the surface at this point.  Our history is our future as it is in many other cities, but in most other cities they actually put it the forefront of their planning because they are proud of their past, here we only accept it, or not, after a long wasteful fight. Buffalo has a beautiful, colorful and proud history that many other cities only wish they had. Other cities do more with less,   We do less with more


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The "AERO-AMPHIBIOUS VOYAGE" of Mr. WISE - (part two)

Editor: Where we left him last issue; "We desire much that he should afford the citizens of Buffalo to do him justice, by making good his losses by the former ascension...Several of our prominent citizens have already led off by liberal purchases of tickets.  Let each bear a part, and send up the navigator of space next time, with a heart as light as his vessel."
Buffalo Morning Express Aug 7, 1847
   There was a large concourse of people gathered on the outside of Morris's garden yesterday, to witness Mr. Wises 63rd ascension, and we are happy to say the number inside was considerably greater than on the former occasion. At a few minutes after 4 o'clock the word was given to "let her go" and he ascended just beautifully to the height of about a mile, the wind carrying him in a southerly direction over the city, thus giving our citizens a fine view of the flight.  Mr Wise has furnished us with the following account, from his logbook, which will be read with interest:
For the Morning Express
From aerial Log of 63d Voyage.
Buffalo City, August 6, 1847
    Left Morris's Garden at precisely six minutes past 4'oclock with the aerial ship Rough and Ready under ballast.  Wind, due south, rising slowly--Threw over some ballast--men, women and children scrambling out of the way. Ascent became more rapid.  Rising and traversing parallel with Main St. and a little east of it. As I rose the current bore more for the lake.  4 o'clock 15 minutes, pass the beach and right up the centre of the Lake, began to feel chilly upon the thoughts of a ducking.  One mile out on the Lake, threw out more ballast to reach the great eastward current.  Got up to 4,000 feet and struck a current at the rate of 20 miles per hour up the Lake--This won't do, I shall get out ten or twelve miles before I may get the easterly current, and probably be blown into Canada where I would stand a chance of arrest for contraband.  Open valve and come down within speaking distance.  Making direct for a brig several miles out going to Buffalo.  "Ahoy, What vessel?" "Brig Eureka, Captain Burnell."  "Will you lower a boat Captain, if I come down?" "Certainly", answered Capt. Burnell.  "Then I will be down presently." Came down with all dispatch--the brig laid too, but I got astern of her several miles before her boat was manned and lowered.
   Struck water at 4 o'clock 35 minutes---The balloon first rebounded and glanced over the water in a ricochet manner with wind drawing me up the Lake.  Discharged more gas to sink my car and cause more resistance in order to enable the yawl to overtake me. At 5 min. to 5 o'clock the yawl of the Eureka manned by Jno. Stratten, Jno. Dowd, Jno. McFee, Wm. Padman, and Chas. Angell as jolly a set of boys as ever pulled an oar or spun a yarn, hauled up to me and took me in tow, and in a short time set me safe on board the Brig where I had the pleasure of wagging the hand of Capt. BURNELL, who, upon my thanking him for his kindness, very promptly replied, "It is but a duty to fellow man." If ever it fall within my power to return the favor, I shall never, under any circumstances forgo to carry out the sentiment of Capt. BURNELL.  Thus ended my 63d trip which partook some what of a triple character, being a sort of an Aero-amphibious voyage, and made rather a variety in the progress of the profession.
    I am also under obligations to Mr. Coleman and another gentleman whom I cannot name, for their attention and kindness in bringing me on shore from the Brig after she struck in the channel. To the large and respectable audience who honored me with their presence on this occasion, I return my thanks, particularly those who paid for the right; and those who were so numerously on the outside, must excuse me for the sand I dropped on them in the hurry of my departure.
Buffalo Daily Courier  August 7, 1847
Professor Wise, The Aeronaut
 "Yesterday afternoon, according to previous announcement, Mr. Wise made his sixty-third ascension, from Morris' Garden, corner of Main and Tupper streets. Great interest was evinced throughout the length and breadth of the city, to see it. All sorts, sizes and conditions of people were assembled to witness his flight. We were glad to see a good number on the inside of the Garden. The outside, and indeed the adjacent streets and lanes, were filled with carriages, and a mass of human beings, all anxious to see what they could. After there had been several pioneer balloons sent up, and the curiosity of such as chose to examine the principal one had been satisfied, Mr. Wise prepared himself in the car for his lofty voyage. About four o'clock, after some preliminary trials, he gave the word 'let go,' and amid the cheers and hurrahs of the enthusiastic assemblage, he floated off most grandly. The ease and self-possession which he evinced; the confident air he assumed, showed to our mind conclusively that he was master of his profession. After he was up, he went immediately over the city, in the direction of the lake, thus affording an excellent view of the ascension to the thousands on the housetops, etc."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The Buffalo Courier Friday July 30th 1847
Arrival  Extraordinary!      At Morris's Garden!         
Takes this opportunity of informing the Ladies and Gentlemen of this city and vicinity, that he will, at the request of numerous citizen, make his 62nd Grand Atmospheric Voyage, on
Saturday Afternoon on July 31, 1847,
between 3 and 4 o'clock, from Morris's Garden corner of Main and Tupper Streets
     The Capacity of this enormous vessel is Sixty-Five Thousand Gallons, and it requires for one inflation of Hydrogen gas, one thousand eight hundred pounds of sulphuric acid; one thousand five hundred pounds of iron, and twelve thousand pounds of water.  The method of generating hydrogen gas by the decomposition of Water, is of itself, an interesting and mysterious process;  Fifty-Five Thousand Gallons of which will be made and introduced into the Balloon under the immediate eye of the spectator.  During the process of inflation, Mr. W. will be pleased to answer any inquires regarding the nature and Philosophy of the same.
Doors open at 12 o'clock when the inflation commences.
  At 1p.m., small balloon will ascend
  At 2, a pioneer balloon will be launched 
  At 2 1/2 a Pilot Balloon will point out the direction of the wind
  At 3 1/2 Mr. Wise will hitch his car to the Aerial Vessel, and after floating a few minutes between earth and air, by a single cord, will detach himself from Terra-firma and ascend to the Region of The Clouds!
Seats in the gallery affording a complete view of the whole operation, reserved for Ladies. Reserved seats 50 cents; circle 25 cents. Doors open from 12 p.m. to 6 o'clock p.m.
Commencing at 8 o'clock precisely
     Mr. Wise is expected to return from his ascension and give the audience 
          an account of his excursion.
     A good Band of Music will be in attendance during the afternoon and evening.
          Single tickets 25 cents.  One gentleman and two ladies, 50 cents.

John Wise
   John Wise was The 19th century's, most successful and most famous aeronaut. “Coupled with his enthusiasm, generosity, and scientific curiosity, clearly marked him as the most distinguished and experienced of American aeronauts."   In the nineteenth century many ascensions were made just for the novelty of the event, but John Wise's approach was from a scientific perspective. Each ascension gave him a chance to conduct scientific investigations of the atmosphere, pneumatics and hydrostatics.  It also gave him the opportunity to develop a more advanced flying machine. Wise was the first to observe the "great river of air which always blows from west to east" in the higher regions of the atmosphere. Today we call this phenomenon the jet stream.  He also developed the ripcord safety mechanism, and in 1838 developed a balloon that would collapse into a parachute if deflated or ruptured in flight.  It actually saved his life when his balloon ruptured at 13,000 ft. and he survived the descent.  
   John Wise promoted the advantages of balloon transportation. In 1843 he conceived a project for crossing the Atlantic Ocean and asked Congress to appropriate $15,000 for the project. Congress, however rejected the appropriation.  He is credited with the first U.S. airmail transportation in 1859. Although  the balloon only traveled 30 miles due to unfavorable weather and never made it to NY City from Indiana it was still considered official.
Buffalo Morning Express - Monday August 2, 1847
Monsieur Eugene Godard Balloon in Buffalo
Main and Clinton Streets - July 1858
    On Saturday afternoon, pursuant to notice, Mr. Wise made an ascension from this City.  The day was clear and pleasant although a stiff breeze was blowing from the south west, which it was feared by many anxious spectators on the outside of the Garden, would prevent the aerial voyage. However at 1 o'clock,  the inflation commenced and the balloon filled much faster than the Garden, when at 4 o'clock precisely, when the word was given to "let her go" and Mr. Wise and his aerial craft rose quickly and most beautifully into the space above, amid the cheers of the multitude.  The wind carried the balloon to the northward and eastward in a rapid but most graceful manner and her progress was upward and onward until some fifteen minutes after leaving the Garden, she began to decline behind the higher lands at the north, and was out of sight.
    The Ascension was made under disadvantage circumstances, but so perfect and so beautiful was it, as to settle in the minds of the people of Buffalo, a large concourse of whom honored the occasion with their presence on the outer side of the Garden----the fact that this aeronaut never fails. After remaining mid-air about 25 minutes, he made the earth again and landed at the pleasant Village of Williamsville.
According to John Wises Log of the Flight, It wasn't that easy (Ed.)  

July 31, 1847
John Wise Balloon Lafayette Indiana - 1859
    "4 pm precisely, started with aerial ship "Rough and Ready" under ballast and brisk gale from the S.S.W.  Wind moving at the rate of a mile per minute. Started with considerable ascending power but the current was so strong, that in order to make a more perpendicular rise I was obliged to throw over 30 pounds of ballast, which having lightened the vessel, together with a strong horizontal force, caused it to pitch and girate with a desperate motion.  Also a stiff breeze rushing down upon me from above, so as to partially turn the balloon in the net--Work throwing the valve, which is at the upper central point, one third down the side, placing it in a position that made it very unmanageable in a quick decent...."
    His route took him over Grand Island toward Niagara Falls. This was the first ever aerial observation of Niagara Falls, (and Buffalo, for that matter), his reaction being one of disappointment after such high expectations in his mind. ...Upon reflection I concluded that this must be Grand Island, and immediately my attention was drawn to a search for Niagara Falls, as I heard a slightly rushing noise of a waterfall. My eye soon rested upon it, and after scanning it for a few moments I involuntarily cried out "Is that the Falls!? And no wonder, "It had the appearance of a little cascade rippling through the meadow of a gentleman's country seat. I was disappointed, for my mind seemed bent on a soliloquy on Niagara's raging grandeur, but it was a bubble; it looked too small. The scenery of the great panorama surrounding it could only absorb my mind.  The little frothy bubble had too much the appearance of a foaming glass of London brown stout to bring my mind wholly upon it's grandeur, it looks like a little humbug when viewed from the clouds."
     Upon the discovery that Niagara Falls could not interest me from above, I concluded to make my landing at the first village in my track, Williamsville.  When three miles from this place I commenced a rapid descent, which, with the prevailing gale, tossed the vessel to and fro at a fearful rate, and at one time in a fair way of coming in contact with the church steeple of the village, which must inevitably been pulled along, had I been entangled on it, but a quick discharge of ballast enabled me to clear it, upon which I waved my hat, and soon the villagers were all in motion.  Over fences and gardens, lanes and creeks, and in every direction did the Williamsville men run to help me down.
    Unfortunately for me, however, the impetuosity of the "Rough and Ready" was such that nothing was fast enough to reach her in time, and in another moment she dashed against a tree, where after chafing and careering for a few moments, she hurled the car through the branches of the tree, and lodged it in the foliage of a tree on the opposite side.  Across the creek dashed my Williamsville friends, and while I grappled a firm hold in the Hickory limbs, several men clambered the tree and secured my car in it's branches.  Here then I commenced a rapid discharged of gas from the valve, as well as from the breaches in the balloon.. In fifteen minutes more we brought her down upon the ground, some what the worse for wear in appearance, but so as to be repairable in a few days for a future flight.  From the time I left the ground until I touched it again, occupied 35 minutes. Time of flight 19 minutes.
Buffalo Daily Courier - Monday  Aug. 2nd  1847 
     "Mr Wises Balloon ascension on Saturday Afternoon went off beautifully, grandly.  We regretted, however, to see many of our citizens, particularly in carriages, avail themselves of Mr. Wises enterprise, by gratifying their curiosity with an outside view, while within, their were hardly enough to cover expenses".....Mr. Wise was brought back to this city about 8 o'clock in the evening, by H.B. Evans, Esq., of Williamsville... 
    The custom in which he made balloon ascensions was to advertise the ascension and sell tickets to a complete afternoon event so as to cover expenses.  Creating the hydrogen gas to inflate the balloon at the time, was crude and expensive.  Because many Buffalonians chose to take the "cheap seats" at the event(free), John Wise lost $327. This was such an embarrassment to the citizens and newspapers of the city that they invited him back to try another ascension "so he might be indemnified for his loss on the first."  He answered; "From the friendly representations made to me since my last ascension by a large number of citizens of Buffalo, as also from the unsolicited and unexpected friendship of the press generally in this city, I am induced to risk the cost of another ascension, on Friday next.  John Wise, Buffalo, Aug. 3rd 1847

End Of Part One