Published at Friday, March 30th, 2018 - 19:59:03 PM. Balloon Chair. By Cecilia Ardouin.
Most chairs made in Australia before 1830 have saber-style front legs, some tapered and pegged (in an English provincial style), and others have turned front legs that were manufactured on a pole or treadle lathe. Machinery in the workshop at that time was very simple, driven by manpower in the form of a treadle or rotating flywheel: the job at hand was pretty well all hard slog. This period in our turbulent past of colonial cabinet-making is considered by all experts and connoisseur collectors alike as the only period worth collecting, as it was pure in style and as close to being completely hand-made as possible. Chairs of this period are mostly fitted with drop in seats and, on rare occasion, are caned below, allowing the seat to be removed for summer comfort. Chairs from this period are extremely hard to find.
It must have made a substantial change from haulage work - when Walters' friends cut the cord that kept the lawn chair held tied to his jeep, Walters rose higher than he had ever anticipated, to a height of 15,000 feet! Since he didn't want to risk shooting any balloons at first, fearing he would unbalance his jury-rigged aircraft, he was picked up by a wind current and slowly drifted out over the nearby Long Beach Airport. After spending 45 minutes in the sky, he shot several of his balloons, and then accidentally dropped his pellet gun overboard. Although this might seem quite the hindrance for any further descent, his jury-rigged aircraft dropped down to tangle in some power lines, and he was able to climb to the ground. It must have made quite a change from his haulage work. When asked by a reporter why he'd attempted such a feat, Walters answered only "A man can't just sit around."
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