Welcome to the Georgia COHT Newsletter

Winter 2014

National Gathering

Don’t forget about the COHT NATIONAL GATHERING APRIL 23-27 2014 at Fort Atkinson in Nebraska. This is one of the best sites I have ever been to. Check with other members and see if any would like to split the ride. Saves on gas and the time goes by faster. And while you are at it this is a good time while held up waiting for the cold to give way to spring to visit the COHT message boards. Might find out more about the Gathering or someone in need of a riding partner. Lots of good info and folks on the board. If you have trouble with the site security just drop a line to the web master. In case you have forgotten the web page: http://www.coht.org/

Charlieres & Montgolfiers

(Part I from last 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

(Part II)
On December 1, 1783 Franklin watched the first manned flight of a Charliere, balloon. It was a foggy morning, Franklin's letter states that “about one o'clock the air became tolerably clear, to the great satisfaction of the spectators, who were infinite, notice having been given of the intended experiment several days before in the papers, so that all Paris was out. The balloon rose to about 2000 feet and drifted twenty seven miles and landed well at Nesle.

Franklin was acquainted with both inverters and when the enthusiasts of both Montgolfier and Charles would clash he would be the peacemaker saying, the balloon is a baby, of which Montgolfier was the father and Charles was the wet nurse. Some would ask what good is it? His answer became famous in Paris. “What good is a newborn baby?” Washington had his view of the value of the balloon. April 4, 1784 he wrote to a friend in Paris Major Duportail: “I have only newspaper accts of Air Balloons, to which I do not know what credence to give; as the tales related of the are marvelous, and lead us to expect that our won friends at Paris, in a little time , will come flying threw' the air, instead of ploughing the Ocean to get to America. Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration sent a letter to Jefferson on May 12, 1784 telling of the first American balloon: “We have been amusing ourselves with raising air balloons made of paper. The first that mounted our atmosphere was made by Dr. Foulke and sent up from the garden of the Minister of Holland the day before yesterday. Yesterday forenoon the same balloon was raised from Mr. Morris's garden, and last evening another was exhibited at the Minister of France's the the great amusement of the spectators. They rose twice or perhaps three times the height of the houses, ant then gently descended without damage. A Baltimore paper wrote and account of the first American manned ascent: Yesterday the ingenious Peter Carnes, Esq., made his curious AEROSTATIC EXPERIMENTS within the limits of this town....Ambition, on the occasion, so fired the youthful heart of a lad (only 13 years old!) of the name of Edward Warren the he bravely embarked as a volunteer on the last trip into the air, and behaved with the steady fortitude of an old Voyager....When he returned to our terrene element, he met with a reward, from some of the spectators, which had a solid, instead of an airy, foundation, and of a species which is ever acceptable to the residents of this lower world.
January 7, 1785 at 1PM an American, Dr. John Jeffries and a Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard set off to be the first to fly over the English Channel. Blanchard with a leaded belt and trousers tried to leave Jeffries behind but was caught, Jeffries who had financed the project, was not put off and they carried on. Halfway across they ran into trouble and sank close to the waters of the channel and were force to drop as much weight as possible. They throw over all the ballast, the useless silk oars and even Blanchard's trousers. As they cleared the cliffs of France Dr. Jeffries grabbed a treetop over the forest outside Calais. They had made it as the first to Cross the English Channel. June 19, 1785, Pilatre de Rozier and Monsier P.A Romanin planned a crossing of the Channel from the French shore, with their new balloon design. This Balloon had a hydrogen bag for primary lift and a hot air balloon beneath. On June 19 Jefferson wrote to James Monroe in New York relating the tragic news. “Since writing the above we receive the following account. Mons. Pilatre de Rozier, who has been waiting some months at Boulogne for a fair wind to cross the channel, at length took his ascent with a companion. The wind changed after a while and brought him back on the French coast. Being at a height of about 6000 f. some accident happened to his balloon of inflammable air. It burst, they fell from that height and were crushed to atoms. There was a Montgolfier combined with the balloon of inflammable air. It is suspected the heat of the Montgolfier rarified too much the inflammable air of the other and occasioned it to burst. The Montgolfier came down in good order. Some tried to make ballooning in to a business by selling Tickets and subscriptions but few were able to profit from it. So would Ben Franklin would be able to see the value of it to day. So What good is it? One modern day flyer says, “There is a social quality that makes it unique. There is an excitement and camaraderie that you don't find in any other form of flying. “

Coming in March

Fort Yargo Living History Society's (FYLHS)
5th Annual 18th Century Market Faire.
March 28 - 30th inside Fort Yargo State Park 210 S. Broad St. Winder, GA 30680