Lowell, MA – August 31, 1907

Lowell, Massachusetts – August 31, 1907


    old balloon On Saturday, August 31, 1907, Harry M. Maynard of Lynn, Massachusetts, was scheduled to give a parachute exhibition sponsored by the Stafford Balloon Club of Boston at a pleasure resort known as Lake View.  The plan had been for Maynard to ascend to a pre-designated height in a balloon, and then jump using two parachutes.  After the first chute deployed, he was to cut himself away from it, and free fall until the second chute opened allowing him to land safely.   

     Maynard jumped as planned, but the first parachute didn’t open until he was only 400 feet above the ground.  He then cut away from the first chute, but was now too low for the second to deploy successfully.  He came down on the roof of a bowling alley and died three minutes later.

     The incident was viewed by 7,000 people.


     Pullman Herald, (Washington) “Fell 400 Feet To Death”, September 7, 1907   

     Sanford Tribune, (Me.), “Aeronaut Instantly Killed”, September 6, 1907

Lowell, MA – October 3, 1895

Lowell, Massachusetts – October 3, 1895


     balloonOn October 3, 1895, “Professor” James Allen of Providence, R.I. took off in his balloon from the North Common in Lowell as part of the Merchant’s Week celebration.  The ascent was witnessed by 10,000 people.  Besides Allen, there were two passengers aboard, D.A. Sullivan, and W. I. Rombough. 

     Shortly after take off, Allen became unconscious, presumably from poisonous gas escaping from the balloon, and Sullivan and Rombough had to grab hold of him to keep him from falling out of the gondola.    

     Neither passenger knew how to operate the balloon, so they were forced to sit back and go wherever the craft carried them.  For the next hour, the winds carried the balloon over the towns of Tewkesbury, Andover, and Bedford, before the balloon came down on its own in the northern part of Lexington.  Neither of the men could explain why the balloon landed of its own accord.

     Allen didn’t regain consciousness for quite some time.

     Source: New York Times, “Unpleasant Balloon Ascension”, October 5, 1895


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