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


Balloon Ascension, Providence, R. I. – 1859

Balloon Ascension, Providence, Rhode Island – October 27, 1859

     The following article appeared in the Woonsocket Patriot, October 28, 1859.

It appears to have been taken from the Providence Journal

    balloonBalloon Ascension – Mr. James Allen, of the firm of King & Allen, aeronauts, made a successful balloon ascension from Exchange Place at 3:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon.  The balloon took a southeasterly direction, and landed at 4 o’clock about eight miles from this city, on the farm of William Wheaton, in the center of Rehoboth.  Mr. Allen was assisted in securing his balloon by Master Henry Frost, who swam Palmer’s River and was first at the spot.  Mr. Horton, and by Mr. Nelson Goff, who took him to his residence, where he was hospitably entertained and sent to this city.  Mr. Allen states that he distinctly saw Pawtucket and Woonsocket on the north, Boston on the east, and Fall River, Warren, and Bristol on the south. – Providence Journal ”    

     This is one of the earliest recorded balloon flights in Rhode Island.  The Allen family was famous for their balloon flights.

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