by Whitney | 1:14 am

“Would someone please get those balloons out of here?” My mother often complained about the balloons hanging about on the ceiling of my bedroom. Everyone knew I adored colored balloons. Subsequently, individuals liked giving me balloons even my mother as much as she complained gave me balloons for my birthday. Someone gave me a popular cartoon classic D.V.D. about balloons and I watched it time and time again.

When Did You Become Fascinated With Balloons?

My fascination with balloons started at an early age. My mother was preparing a birthday celebration for my grandmother and bought a bouquet of balloons because my grandmother is allergic to flowers. I was about three when I discovered balloons. At the tender age of three I liked to pop the balloons; which of course made them dangerous because the broken rubber pieces could be chewed like bubble gum. The broken rubber pieces when chewed like bubble gum presented a choking hazard. Subsequently, whenever my mother heard a balloon pop she went racing to find me and take the rubber pieces out of my mouth and hands. Parents beware; protect your little ones from broken balloon pieces.

Where Were Balloons First Used?

The first balloon was designed in1783 for a French demonstration. The balloon was made of burlap and three layers of paper held together by 1800 buttons and a net made of rope. The balloon was filled with hot air and flew for ten minutes; it attained an altitude of 5200-6600 feet and drifted about 1.2 miles from the original starting point. The success of the hot air balloon was noted by the military regime and balloons were soon fitted to be used by the military.

Forty-one years later in 1824, an English research scientist was doing experiments with Hydrogen gas and needed a way to contain the gas. He chose two flat pieces of rubber and glued the edges. He put flour between the rubber pieces to keep them from sticking together. Now he had designed the perfect container for the gas and his experiments could advance to the next stage. He had tried using dried animal bladders without much success.

What Happen After That to Balloons?

An entrepreneur saw the hydrogen research and in 1825 designed a do-it-yourself kit to make balloons. It wasn’t until 1907 that rubber balloons began being produced in the United States. Modern balloons are made from rubber, latex, polychloroprene or nylon fabric. Balloons come in every color and are an inexpensive alternative to using costly flowers. Balloons are used as arches, centerpieces, sculptures, on holiday floats, columns, bouquets, twisters, and pencil balloons.

Who Uses Balloons?

Balloons are used everywhere but what is the scientific definition of a balloon? Balloons are described as a flexible receptacle that can be inflated with various gasses like helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, air and combination gasses. Balloons can also be filled with flour, sand, rice and certain granular media. Balloons are used as; decorative tools, entertainment artistry, medical treatments, military defense, meteorology and transportation.

How Do I Use Them?

I always have balloons hanging around my house because I never know when I child might happen by and want one. I use balloons as conversation starters. I buy them at the convenient corner store for a nominal fee. All are filled with helium and bounce around my ceilings. The children I tutor receive them as rewards for a job well done. Adults seem to think they are a frivolous expense but they do respond with conversation when they see them hanging about the ceiling of my house. I love my balloons and so far it has been a seventy-four-year love affair.


I recommend balloons for all occasion’s even funerals. Balloons are versatile and elicit a note of happiness to all occasions. Depending on their uses balloons are relied on as a source of consistent data collectors. Balloons are used for medical purposes to unclog arteries and veins. The military uses hot air balloons for defense. Hot air ballooning is also seen as a fun recreation enjoyed by many individuals. I leave you with an invitation to come by sometime and enjoy my collection of dancing balloons.

Author Whitney Joh is a retired science teacher.


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