Saturday, October 11, 2008

1859 Balloon Voyage

Proving once again that it's an innovative museum, Conner Prairie has launched plans for a tethered balloon voyage.

Visitors will enter the outdoor experience and be transported back in time to a recreated 1859 Lafayette environment on the day John Wise launched his balloon. Complete with storefronts and streetlamps of the time, they'll feel the excitement of America’s fascination with balloon flight in the years just before the Civil War.

There'll be a look at the science and technology behind the development of the balloon as “flying machine” and the history of ballooning in America. The exhibit will culminates with the opportunity to fly to the height of 350 feet in a tethered, gas-filled balloon that will recreate the sense of flying experienced by John Wise in 1859.

From an eagle’s vantage point, the "travelers" will survey how Hamilton County’s landscape has changed from the time that Native Americans inhabited the land by the White River when William Conner first settled here. On a clear day, they will see the skyscrapers of Indianapolis.

2009 is the perfect time to open this new exhibit -- that's 150th anniversary of John Wise’s balloon launch in Lafayette.

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