Welcome to the Georgia COHT Newsletter
It is almost time for the Georgia COHT gathering. If you missed the last newsletter, a reminder that it is held next to the river, September 27th, 28th, 29th. We can canoe, swim, fish, shoot, trade, sing or just visit. Beautiful site. Breakfast on Saturday will be grits, Saturday night dinner we will have stone soup so bring something for the pot. Bring water.
Directions are from Atlanta. If you look at a Georgia map you will have no trouble finding your way. From Atlanta take 85 north, bare left onto hwy 985. 985 will turn into hwy 365. Turn left onto Duncan bridge Rd (384) toward Helen. Go apx 5 miles and you will cross over the Chattahoochee river and enter White county. Turn left at the next road you come to which will be Webster Lake rd. Go 1.7 miles after you cross the bridge over Webster Lake turn left onto the dirt driveway and follow to the river, you're there. I do not know if my phone will work there but if you get lost try and call me at (770)846-4940 Hope to see all there!
Charlieres & Montgolfiers
(this is a long bit of history so I will make it in two parts. The rest will be in the next newsletter)
The Year is 1782 the American Revolution is over, George Washington is resigning his commission as commander of the American forces and Ben Franklin is in France on diplomatic affairs.
At this same time a gentleman by name of Joseph Montgolfier writes to his brother Etienne. “Procure me immediately some taffeta and rope, and I will show you something that will astonish the world!” A year later he launched a hot air balloon from the square of Annonay, France. Joseph did his PR and soon was invited to demonstrate their invention at the French capital. The whole of the court of Versailles watched as the 57 foot high balloon of blue and gold rose 1,700 feet with the first air passengers, a rooster, a duck and a sheep.
They thought that the smoke itself caused the balloon to rise and called it phlogiston. So before each flight they would collect and stuff into a furnace any thing that made a lot of smoke, old shoes, damp straw and rotten meat, anything.
On the other hand Inventor Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles bereaved “inflammable air” AKA hydrogen, would be a better choice. He published his finding on the expansion of gases with heat in “Charles' Law”..
August 26, 1783 the “Charliere” was towed to Champ de Mars for it first flight. Jacques did not do his PR as Joseph did. Cab drivers would stop in the street and kneel with hat in hand and the balloon was looked on by people in the street as an ugly monster. It landed in a field 15 miles away and frightened a group of peasants. They attacked the monster and stabbed at the rolling and oozing mass then ran from the smell of the escaping gas. They then tied the bag to the tail of a horse and drug the now ruined gas balloon away.
Ben Franklin saw this balloon rise more than ½ a mile before it was lost in the clouds. He later wrote to Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Society of London. “Some Suppose flying to be now invented; since men may be supported in the air, nothing is wanted but some light, handy instruments to give and direct motion.”
The first man-carrying balloon was built by the Montgolfiers, 74 feet high and elaborately painted. Two condemned criminals were selected as the first “aeronauts” as the king didn't want to risk any of his loyal subjects. Two Nobles persuaded the king that criminals should not have this glory to be the first to fly. November 21, 1783, Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes flew across the Seine and above Paris. The first Aeronauts.
It did not all go well. They started to descend into the river and panicked. They greatly increased the fire to the point that the high flames burned holes in the bag and caused two of the ropes to snap. But they did come down safely for a historical success.
Model of the Montgolfiers balloon in the London Science museum
To be continued