Many of us think that balloons were invented not so long ago but it’s not entirely true. The first mention of balloons appeared a few thousands years ago. Since then, little has changed except the way of balloons making and gas filling.
There is a mention of Karelians who used balloons for hunting and military campaigns. Manuscripts say that this folk undertook several campaigns against the Häme tribe. Balloons presumably were made of wheals’ and bulls’ dry skin and filled with methane which made them explosive.
In 1824 Michael Faraday was experimenting with hydrogen in the Royal Institute of Great Britain. Thanks to these experimentations he could invent the world’s first latex balloon. He took two rubber sheets and put them one on top of another. The inner sides were greased with flour so that sheets didn’t stick to each other and the edges were glued together. Thus he got a base for his further gas experiments.
In 1847 J.H. Ingram produced toys-shaped balloons in London. These samples are officially called “the ancestors” of modern balloons. They were filled with explosive hydrogen until 1922. This is the year when a certain man set fire to several balloons in the USA. His actions caused a big explosion. The governments’ reaction was severe – the amusements with balloons were suspended. But not for long. The hydrogen was replaced by helium which is less dangerous.
In 1931 Neil Tylots invented the first latex balloon. Thanks to this new material there appeared a possibility of creating not only round but oblong balloons as well. This idea was accepted by people positively. They started to use balloons for making different animals and decorating rooms. As a consequence these people began to be called twisters. Neil’s company earned significant money selling people different sets of balloons for making figurines. Surely we can’t compare the quality of balloons of the 30s to modern balloons. They often burst and lost their colour after the inflation. But time went on and the process of balloons making was improving. Now customers can rejoice in quality, big choice of shapes and size and a great variety of colors.