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Why Do We Celebrate With Balloons?

The rubber balloon

  • Michael Faraday made the first rubber balloons in 1824, for use in the laboratory. He laid two sheets of rubber on top of each other, put flour in between to prevent them from joining all the way, then sealed the edge together. When Faraday filled the balloons with hydrogen, they had reasonable ascending power, but he was disappointed that the hydrogen kept escaping.
  • Thomas Hancock, a British inventor and rubber manufacturer, began distributing balloon-making kits, and by 1847, London entrepreneurs were selling the first balloons made of vulcanized rubber. Not long after, the idea was exploited for the use at parties.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why Do We Celebrate With Balloons?

Why Do We Celebrate With Balloons?

https://slate.com/human-interest/2011/12/party-balloons-a-history.html

slate.com

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Key Ideas

Why we celebrate with balloons

Balloons were invented for use in military communications, scientific experiments, and transportation. Not long after that, people began to have fun with them.

Balloons are cheap and colorful, and people like watching things fly away.

The rubber balloon

  • Michael Faraday made the first rubber balloons in 1824, for use in the laboratory. He laid two sheets of rubber on top of each other, put flour in between to prevent them from joining all the way, then sealed the edge together. When Faraday filled the balloons with hydrogen, they had reasonable ascending power, but he was disappointed that the hydrogen kept escaping.
  • Thomas Hancock, a British inventor and rubber manufacturer, began distributing balloon-making kits, and by 1847, London entrepreneurs were selling the first balloons made of vulcanized rubber. Not long after, the idea was exploited for the use at parties.

Popularity of balloons

  • Rubber balloons were manufactured in the United States in 1907.
  • The first commercial sausage balloons were produced in 1912, and Americans began twisting balloons into animal shapes in the late 1930s.
  • In the 1970s, foil balloons were introduced. Foil balloons hold their shape better than rubber balloons, and are better for conveying messages like "Happy birthday!"
  • In East Asia, sky lanterns have been popular for many centuries and are now used as a form of celebration at many festivals.

Environmental damage caused by balloons

  • The Balloon Council says that latex balloons freeze when it reaches an altitude of about five miles, breaks into slivers that look like spaghetti, and breaks down in the soil like a leaf.
  • Most rubber balloons are made of chemical-treated latex and may last for months.
  • Balloons can be dangerous to sea animals as they can become lodged in the animal's digestive tract. However, no balloon has ever been shown to be the cause of death for a sea mammal.

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