The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), Fri., Oct. 5, 1866

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The Balloon Accounted For - A Narrow Escape. - The Rochester Democrat says: On Tuesday Prof. Squires was to make a balloon ascension at Albion, and preparations to that effect were made in the afternoon. The supply of gas gave out before the balloon was properly inflated, and it was proposed to convey it to the gas works and there fill it.

A young man named Collins expressed a willingness to make an ascension, with the balloon in the condition it then was. His offer was accepted, the basket disconnected, and a board fastened to the balloon for him to sit upon. The young man took his seat, and the balloon rose to a height of about two hundred feet, when it commenced bobbing, and came near striking a church spire.

A few moments after it was reversed, and came down near the earth. Passing over the canal, Collins was dragged through the water for some distance, his whole body being at times submerged. It then rose and again came down, when Collins jumped or fell from his perch. The balloon soared away, and was picked up in Lake Ontario by the schooner Active, and taken to Oswego.

It is said to have contained but 13,000 cubic feet of gas , when 20,000 were required for proper inflation. An eye witness describes the situation of the venturesome Collins as one of extreme danger, and his escape from destruction most fortunate He was considerably injured by his fall, and has probably had all the experience he wished for as an aeronaut.

The Democrat is misinformed in relation to the "basket" being disconnected, and a board used, etc. The basket was duly attached, having a circular bottom, about three feet in diameter, with a slight framework or railing, about a foot in height. The underside of this basket or platform is ornamented with a star, nicely painted. The standing place for the aeronaut, was properly attached to the net work of the balloon above, and the whole was captured by Capt. Moul of the Active, and left in the possession of Geo. Ames, Esq., of this city, subject to the order of the owner.

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Fri., Oct. 5, 1866
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), Fri., Oct. 5, 1866