Westfield, MA. – June 29, 1905

Westfield, Massachusetts – June 29, 1005

     On June 29, 1905, an aeronaut identified as B. S. Tirrell was scheduled to make a balloon ascension and parachute drop at Hampton Pond in Westfield.  The plan was to rise in the balloon to about 4,000 feet.  and there he was to be shot out of a cannon which was suspended beneath the balloon, then deploy his parachute and land.  However, the firing mechanism of the cannon failed to go off, and Tirrell found himself trapped in the cannon.  Despite the failure of the firing mechanism, an external fire was created which set the balloon on fire.  The balloon then began to loose altitude with Tirrell helpless to do anything.  When the balloon was about thirty feet from the ground, the ropes holding the cannon burned through and the cannon fell striking the ground.

     Tirrell was badly bruised and treated for internal injuries. 

     The reason for the malfunction could not be ascertained.  

     Tirrell was employed by the Boston Balloon Company. 


     The Evening Call, (Woonsocket, R. I.), “He Fell From Burning Balloon”, June 30, 1905. 



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