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Looking for information on captive balloon ascensions as part of early traveling circus performances. Do you have a good source of information? In particular, I am interested in gas generation methods, winching methods, typical performance heights and performance routines (parachute jumps, aerialists, etc.). Any help any clues are much appreciated.

Tom Moran

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November 6, 2003 – Two articles have been published about circus balloon ascensions, both in Bandwagon, one by Robert L. Parkinson and the other by William L. Slout. They should be in the website’s Bandwagon index and photocopies can be purchased from Circus World Museum’s Library. There was also an article about the balloon wedding written by John Kunzog. The book “The Eagle Aloft,” published by the Smithsonian, is also an excellent reference on balloon activity.

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Try America’s Daredevil Balloonist: W.H. Donaldson, 1840-1875, James W. Raab. Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1999.

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