April 1965 - Monthly. Vol. 29, No. 4
Publication Office - Dublin, New Hampshire 03444

Contributed by Brenda Tackett, 7-5-10

"Okay, Let

Prof. Bonnette
'er Go!"
Prof. Bonnette
Prof. Bonnette
     During the 1885-1912 period. the major attraction at most New England county fairs or carnivals was exhibition ballooning. A canvas balloon was filled with hot air, a circus acrobat ascended, performed and floated to earth by parachute. Of all the wonderful old photos taken by Arthur L. K. Watson of Bridgeport, Connecticut, during that time and later (many of which are now owned by the Aeronautical Historical Association), probably the most interesting is the series reproduced here of ballooning in Southport, Connecticut 1904.
Prof. Bonnette

Photo by Arthur K. L. Watson and
Alton Blackington

This seems to be the only picture series in existence of a balloon ascension (of that Period) from beginning to end.
     Photo #1 shows the balloon being filled with hot air in a corner of the Pequot School grounds. Waiting to go up with it is Clarence C. Bonnette of St Johnsbury, Vermont, who was to become New England's most famous and beloved balloonist. (See Alton H. Blackinton's interview with Bonnette, forty years later, on page 144).
     The furnace which filled the balloon with hot air and smoke is not visible in this picture. It was

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