The History Of Balloons
The latex balloon as you know it now was first manufactured in London in 1847 by J.G. Ingram. However, they didn’t enter mass production until the 1930s.
Early balloons were actually made from dried animal intestines and were often used by jesters who produced funny shapes for entertainment; the equivalent of today’s balloon twisters! Early ‘balloons’ were also used by Galileo who inflated a pig’s bladder during an experiment to measure the weight of air.
The first ever rubber balloons were invented by Michael Faraday in 1824, who also used balloons in scientific experiments. These were known as ‘caoutchoucs’ before becoming known as rubber balloons. Faraday created the balloons by cutting out two sheets of rubber and placing them on top of each other, causing the rubber to stick together and form a seal. He coated the inside of the rubber with flour to prevent the insides sticking together which allowed him to fill them with hydrogen during his experiments. In his writings, Faraday noted the “ascending power” of the balloon when filled with hydrogen.
Of course, modern ‘latex’ balloons do not have seams and can be manufactured using a variety of materials such as natural latex, chloroprene and even recycled materials such as old tyres and tennis shoes!