Balloons were in use long before we knew how to make them with latex or foil. In fact, the history of balloons can be traced back to ancient times when people used animal bladders and intestines to create small, inflated objects. However, the modern concept of a balloon, as we know it today, dates back to the 18th century.
In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Étienne, launched the first hot air balloon, which was made of paper and silk and powered by burning wool and straw. The balloon rose to an altitude of over 6,000 feet and traveled over 5 miles, carrying a rooster, a duck, and a sheep as its passengers.
The success of the Montgolfier brothers’ balloon sparked a wave of interest in the science of ballooning. In 1785, Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries became the first people to cross the English Channel in a balloon, and in 1804, French balloonist André-Jacques Garnerin made the first parachute jump from a balloon.
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, balloons were used for scientific research, military reconnaissance, and entertainment.
In the late 19th century, rubber (latex) balloons were developed, and in the early 20th century, helium became the preferred gas for inflating balloons, due to its non-flammability.
Today, balloons are used for a variety of purposes, from party decorations to scientific experiments and military surveillance. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, and continue to capture the imaginations of people all over the world.