the balloon hoax summary sparknotes
FULL PARTICULARS [Mr. Ainsworth's MS.] One, P.M. We are in full view of the low coast of South Carolina. What magnificent events may ensue, it would be useless now to think of determining. . -Mr. Ainsworth has not attempted to account for this phenomenon, which, however, is quite susceptible of explanation. This fact also suggests why nobody had heard about this balloon before the article was printed in The New York Sun, because of Osborne's desire for secrecy. ================================== Its rim is about 4 feet deep. We steered due West; but as the trailing of the buoys materially impeded our progress, and we had the balloon abundantly at command, either for ascent or descent, we first threw out fifty pounds of ballast, and then wound up (by means of a windlass) so much of the rope as brought it quite clear of the sea. Why interesting? We are not informed for what reason the two seamen were also included in the party--but, in the course of a day or two, we shall put our readers in possession of the minutest particulars respecting this extraordinary voyage. "The inflation was commenced very quietly at daybreak, on Saturday morning, the 6th instant, in the Court-Yard of Weal-Vor House, Mr. Osborne's seat, about a mile from Penstruthal, in North Wales; and at 7 minutes past 11, every thing being ready for departure, the balloon was set free, rising gently but steadily, in a direction nearly South; no use being made, for the first half hour, of either the screw or the rudder. article on the balloon voyage,” marveling that that “the whole square surrounding the Sun was literally besieged. The only propelling force it ever exhibited, was the mere impetus acquired from the descent of the inclined plane; and this impetus carried the machine farther when the vanes were at rest, than when they were in motion -- a fact which sufficiently demonstrates their inutility; and in the absence of the propelling, which was also the sustaining power, the whole fabric would necessarily descend. The great problem is accomplished. The article acknowledges the contributions of scientist Charles Green, whose research has aided these men in properly inflating the balloon with air. OF These float, and serve all the purposes of the mere rope on land. We kept on in this manner throughout the day, with no material incident, and, as the shades of night closed around us, we made a rough estimate of the distance traversed. The waters give up no voice to the heavens. Poe added “realism to his description of the construction of the Victoria,” by providing details of the landscapes that the passengers viewed while they were transported in the balloon (261). The particulars furnished below may be relied on as authentic and accurate in every respect, as, with a slight exception, they are copied verbatim from the joint diaries of Mr. Monck Mason and Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, to whose politeness our agent is also indebted for much verbal information respecting the balloon itself, its construction, and other matters of interest. But the 25,000 feet of altitude is little or nothing, in comparison with the extent of prospect. The first human-carrying lighter-than-air craft of any type to cross the Atlantic was in 1919. No serious accident occurred. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. THREE DAYS! His final journalistic style report also began to take on a more skeptical tone than his previous works. Soon after, the propeller comes apart, and their course is turned westward once again at a speed of about sixty miles per hour. "The Balloon-Hoax" is the title used in collections and anthologies of a newspaper article written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1844. The Balloon Hoax. One single gale such as now befriends us -- let such a tempest whirl forward a balloon for 4 or 5 days (these gales often last longer) and the voyager will be easily borne, in that period, from coast to coast. Just before day, we were all somewhat alarmed at some odd noises and concussions in the balloon, accompanied with the apparent rapid subsidence of the whole machine. It could be turned flat, and directed upwards or downwards, as well as to the right or left; and thus enabled the æronaut to transfer the resistance of the air which in an inclined position it must generate in its passage, to any side upon which he might desire to act; thus determining the balloon in the opposite direction. Poe invents science fiction!" --------------- However, it was not until January 20, 1845 (about nine months after its publication and the public had lost interest in that topic), that Poe was first publicly, with writing the story. But, in all the experiments made with models at the Adelaide Gallery, it was found that the operation of these fans not only did not propel the machine, but actually impeded its flight. He exhibited a model of his invention at the Polytechnic Institution. It is of vast dimensions, containing more than 40,000 cubic feet of gas; but as coal gas was employed in place of the more expensive and inconvenient hydrogen, the supporting power of the machine, when fully inflated, and immediately after inflation, is not more than about 2500 pounds. By means of the rudder, the machine was readily turned in any direction. ATLANTIC CROSSED The description of the Balloon and the voyage was written with a minuteness and scientific ability calculated to obtain credit everywhere, and was read with great pleasure and satisfaction. By the operation of this spring, the screw is made to revolve with great rapidity, communicating a progressive motion to the whole. New York: T. Crowell, 1902.  The character of Monck Mason was not a real person, though he was based heavily on Thomas Monck Mason; the story borrowed heavily from Mason's 1836 book Account of the Late Aeronautical Expedition from London to Weilburg. Poe felt The Sun had made tremendous profits from his story without giving him a cent. To carry out his views, he solicited and obtained the patronage of Sir Everard Bringhurst and Mr. Osborne, two gentlemen well known for scientific acquirement, and especially for the interest they have exhibited in the progress of ærostation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. The inflation process is also well-illustrated, "The balloon is composed of silk, varnished with the liquid gun caoutchouc. The sea is peculiarly phosphorescent. "The screw consists of an axis of hollow brass tube, eighteen inches in length, through which, upon a semi-spiral inclined at fifteen degrees, pass a series of steel wire radii, two feet long, and thus projecting a foot on either side. "As soon as the balloon quits the earth, it is subjected to the influence of many circumstances tending to create a difference in its weight; augmenting or diminishing its ascending power. Poe, Edgar Allan. "For its introduction into common use for purposes of aerostation, we are indebted to Mr. Charles Green. This consideration led Sir George Cayley to think only of adapting a propeller to some machine having of itself an independent power of support -- in a word, to a balloon; the idea, however, being novel, or original, with Sir George, only so far as regards the mode of its application to practice. The 3559.5 mile flight from Britain to New York City took 108 hours 12 minutes. With this combination of actions, the balloon sped up quickly with the remaining rope sticking straight out behind them. It could be turned flat, and directed upwards or downwards, as well as to the right or left; and thus enabled the aeronaut to transfer the resistance of the air which in an inclined position it must generate in its passage, to any side upon which he might desire to act; thus determining the balloon in the opposite direction. Mr. Osbornes telescope made it out something like "Atalanta." All these articles, with the exception of the ballast, and a few trifles, were suspended from the hoop overhead. The rope drags, either on land or sea, while the balloon is free; the latter, consequently, is always in advance, when any progress whatever is made : a comparison, therefore, by means of the compass, of the relative positions of two objects, will always indicate the course. When the balloon is too low, they pull the rope up to make it rise with less drag beneath it, and when the balloon is too high, they release more of the rope down to the earth to cause it to sink. [Mr. Mason's MS.] This morning we had again some little trouble with the rod of the propeller, which must be entirely remodelled, for fear of serious accident -- I mean the steel rod -- not the vanes. Originally presented as a true story, it detailed European Monck Mason's trip across the Atlantic Ocean in only three days in a gas balloon. "I never witnessed more intense excitement to get possession of a newspaper," he wrote. The story may have later been an inspiration for Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. Carlson, Eric W. Ed. Poe added “realism to his description of the construction of the Victoria,” by providing details of the landscapes that the passengers viewed while they were transported in the balloon (261). As the original design was to cross the British Channel, and alight as near Paris as possible, the voyagers had taken the precaution to prepare themselves with passports directed to all parts of the Continent, specifying the nature of the expedition, as in the case of the Nassau voyage, and entitling the adventurers to exemption from the usual formalities of office : unexpected events, however, rendered these passports superfluous.