Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 10

great Balloon was near, and a small one was discharg'd which
went to an amazing Height, there being but little Wind to make it
deviate from its perpendicular Course, and at length the Sight of it
was lost. Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great Balloon's
rising so high as might indanger its Bursting. Several Bags of Sand
were taken on board before the Cord that held it down was cut, and
the whole Weight being then too much to be lifted, such a Quantity was
discharg'd as to permit its Rising slowly. Thus it would sooner arrive
at that Region where it would be in Equilibrio with the surrounding
Air, and by discharging more Sand afterwards, it might go higher if
desired. Between One & Two aClock, all Eyes were gratified with seeing
it rise majestically from among the Trees, and ascend gradually above
the Buildings, a most beautiful Spectacle! When it was about 200 feet
high, the brave Adventurers held out and wav'd a little white Pennant,
on both Sides their Car, to salute the Spectators, who return'd loud
Claps of Applause. The Wind was very little, so that the Object,
tho' moving to the Northward, continued long in View; and it was a
great while before the admiring People began to disperse. The Persons
embark'd were Mr. Charles, Professor of Experimental Philosophy, &
a zealous Promoter of that Science; and one of the Messieurs Robert,
the very ingenious Constructors of the Machine. When it arrived at its
height, which I suppose might be 3 or 400 Toises, it appeared to have
only horizontal Motion. I had a Pocket Glass, with which I follow'd it,
till I lost Sight, first of the Men, then of the Car, and when I last
saw the Balloon, it appear'd no bigger than a Walnut. I write this at 7
in the Evening. What became of them is not yet known here. I hope they
descended by Day-light, so as to see & avoid falling among Trees or on
Houses, and that the Experiment was completed without any mischievous
Accident which the Novelty of it & the want of Experience might well
occasion. I am the more anxious for the Event, because I am not well
inform'd of the Means provided for letting themselves gently down, and
the Loss of these very ingenious Men would not only be a Discouragement
to the Progress of the Art, but be a sensible Loss to Science and

I shall inclose one of the Tickets of Admission, on which the Globe was
represented, as originally intended, but

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Page 17
487 Success to Good Men 255 Summary of Arguments on the Action of Baptism 455 Support Workers 77 Tediousness in Public Devotions 323 Tendency of Universalism 142 The Action of Baptism 443 The Bible Will Save the World 66 The Bible Infallibly Safe 145 The Bible and Bible Men 405 The Bible Ground 414 The Bible vs.
Page 20
274 Unprofitable Servants 165 Upward Tendency—Reformation not a Failure —Missionary Work 343 Value of Learning 143 Various Kinds of Scepticism 180 Wandering Pilgrims 219 Wealth of Alexander Campbell 303 We are a Missionary People 88 We are No Sect 286 We have a Perfect Gospel to Preach 366 What a Preacher Must Be 477 What We Are For 97 What is Essential .
Page 49
Page 78
We have traveled on foot to preach and would do it again before we would give up preaching.
Page 104
We can not expect to be wrapped in cloths, silks, and satins, with fine salaries, for preaching one or two short discourses on Lord’s day, and then lying in the shade all the week; much less can we expect christianity to prosper, or the approbation of heaven rest upon us, in such an order of things.
Page 105
The mission of infidels is not to build up anything but to pull down churches, civil laws, governments, morals, the characters of men and women, peace, happiness, protection of home, property and life.
Page 115
The same is true of all the items.
Page 148
And what if that is the case? Why, then, he commands all men everywhere to repent.
Page 175
We are not to unite simply on what we agree about.
Page 177
Thousands of preachers are in the field fighting the battle, and more are coming, and the ground will be maintained every inch.
Page 181
” So it was to us on this occasion.
Page 241
Page 259
It was bodies that came forth after Jesus rose and were seen of many.
Page 260
Page 274
The whole church should be kept in order and all worship, not at the Lord’s table only, but in all parts of the worship.
Page 288
Even the Episcopalian church, in the time of Mr.
Page 294
It is the business of the preacher to seek an opportunity for something of this kind, and have some work all the time going on round him, arresting the attention of the people, rousing them from their slumbers, setting them to thinking and working.
Page 311
The communication from God to man found in the Bible is sufficiently clear and intelligible for all the purposes of its original design.
Page 315
It is not a different kind of preacher we need, but a _different kind of a church_.
Page 321
In the same way, the good neglected, during the year now closing, will so remain for ever.