M. I. Jones.

For several years I have concluded my 4th of July celebration by sending up several hot-air balloons, and as my companions have found the event one of much enjoyment, I presume many of the readers of Amateur Work would be interested to know about them. The balloons were homemade and inexpensive, the latter item being one that will appeal strongly to boys who always have so many uses for money on our national holiday.

withdrawn. This prevents the cork lining from falling out. The lining was then put in, a hole having been previously made where the drip-pipe comes. The top edge of the lining was fastened by tinned tacks. A strip of wood 1" wide and 1/2" thick was then nailed along each side, about half-way between top and bottom, for holding shelves, which were made of 1/2" boards. A wooden frame of 1" oak was made for the bottom, so that when putting in the ice the zinc would not be dented or broken. The inside woodwork was then given two coats of shellac, cut with alcohol. Paint should not be used, as the turpentine and oil in it are objectionable for this purpose. The outside was stained a dark brown, after puttying up the cracks, and shellacked.

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I usually make two sizes, the smaller ones of tissue paper, and the larger ones of white newspaper, which I get from a newspaper office where large rolls are used on what is called a web-press. These rolls are taken from the press before all the paper is used, from five to twenty yards remaining on the roll. Enough of this paper can be obtained for a small sum to make several large balloons. Such paper can be obtained from any newspaper office where web-presses are used. If this paper cannot be secured, thin manilla wrapping paper will answer.

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A cigar-shaped pattern should first be made of thick manilla paper. For a balloon 6' high, the pattern should be 9' long, 18" wide in the middle and 5" wide at the bottom, coming to a point at the top. To make the pattern, paste enough paper to form a rectangular piece of above outside dimensions. Fold lengthwise in the center, and draw with a pencil the curved line of one side. A long strip of wood may be bent so as to secure an even curve and held in place by nails while the pattern is marked. The natural curvature of the wood will give the correct shape. The pattern as marked is then cut out, using care to cut both layers of paper alike.

For a balloon 4' high the pattern should be 6' 3" long, 12" wide in the center and 4" at the bottom. Thirteen stripes are made for either size, the dimensions given allowing a 7/8" lap for seams on the larger size and 1/2" lap on the smaller one. Examine each strip after cutting, for holes, and if any are found, pieces of paper should be pasted over them. Use a good grade of photography paste for joining the seams. Mucilage dries too hard and is apt to crack in handling when dry. A quick and convenient way to paste up the seams is on a wooden mold. One end of a piece of 2 x 3" joist 8' long was clamped to the workbench. A flexible piece of wood was bent to conform to the shape of the paper strips, being held in place by nailing to it, and the joist strips of wood placed about 18" apart.

The edge of one piece of paper is then covered with paste and placed on the form, and the edge of another piece laid over it, beginning at the center and working towards each end. The strips were joined in pairs, then the pairs were joined, and so on, this giving time for a seam to dry before again working on the same piece. At the top a loop of small but strong twine was attached with a darning needle. This loop is used to support the balloon when inflating. For the bottom of the balloon, make a loop of old telephone wire or a piece of cheese box of the size of the opening; in the larger size about 18" and the smaller size 15" in diameter. Two strong cross-wires are connected to the loop, forming an X-shaped support for the fire-ball. The hoop is then attached by lapping over the bottom of the paper strips and pasting.

The fire-ball is made of cotton twine, which must be untwisted so as to be loose and soft. It is loosely coiled into a flattened ball about 4" in diameter and attached to the top of an X-shaped wire frame, the ends of which are bent down so as to twist around the crosspieces to the hoop of the balloon, when ready to light.

Supposing the eventful evening to have arrived, we would send up the balloon in the following manner: In an old tomato-can put some shavings well covered with kerosene. On two bricks or stones support a short length of stovepipe, in the bottom of which is placed the tomato-can. Light the kerosene, and as soon as it has stopped smoking and the hot air is coming up the pipe, hold the balloon over the pipe and it will quickly become filled with hot air. The top of the balloon is supported with a long stick with a wire hook on the end, which holds the string loop in the top of the balloon. As soon as the hot air has well filled the balloon, it will tug strongly to rise, and should be removed from the stovepipe. The fire-ball is now saturated with kerosene, quickly placed on the top of the crosspieces of the hoop and fastened in place. It is lighted, and as soon as it is blazing well, the balloon should have enough lifting power to rise well. If this be the case, it may be released and will undoubtedly soar rapidly aloft and away in the direction the wind is blowing.

An open field should be selected for sending up the balloon, and care should be taken to see that it has plenty of lifting power before being released. If much wind is blowing, a sheltered place will be necessary, otherwise the balloon is very likely to heel over so far as to become ignited and the labor and pleasure lost.