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How long have balloons been around?

Another Happy Birthday in the books! And because we spent most of the afternoon/evening on Zoom, today's Daily Doodle needed to be quick! I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's not really a birthday without a balloon!


Balloons have been around for ages. Animal bladders were the go-to "balloon" throughout the early history of inflatable objects. There are illustrations from the 14th century that depict balloons made from an inflated pig bladder. Galileo also used an inflated pig's bladder in an experiment in which he tried to measure the weight of air. The Aztecs made balloon animals out of cat intestines to present to their gods.


The first rubber balloon was created by Michael Faraday in 1824. He was a professor and the rubber balloon was for use in his experiments with hydrogen at the Royal Institution in London. He made a rubber balloon out of two sheets of rubber covered with flour on the inside so they would not stick to each other and left the edges uncovered and pressed them together. Rubber toy balloons appeared about a year later. Thomas Hancock, the pioneer rubber manufacturer, sold them in the form of a do-it-yourself kit which consisted of a bottle of rubber solution and a condensing syringe.


The first latex balloon was invented in 1847 by J.G Ingram, also in London, but the mass production didn’t start until 1930. Foil balloons appeared in the 1970s and are more expensive but hold gas inside longer than rubber and latex. They are also lighter.




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