Published at Friday, March 30th, 2018 - 19:37:49 PM. Balloon Chair. By Dylan Boutet.
In this same period, the balloon-back chair was also introduced, but not without problems as, again, the Australian cedar timber was not very kind to both designers and manufacturers alike. The balloon-back chair is certainly pleasing to the eye but, unfortunately, its weakness lies in where the balloon back joins the rear legs, along with the other problems that the traditional bar back may have had. They are an excellent chair but must certainly be treated with respect; that is, pick them up with both hands or by the back rail, not the splat. It only makes sense and, if considered, the balloon back chair must be weaker as the cresting rail (top rail) is often held with a single dowel on each side of the balloon as opposed to a tapered dovetail joint as seen on rail-back chairs of the period. These chairs mostly have turned legs, but occasionally the hoop and legs are carved; they were covered with sprung stuff over seats often in leather or simulated leather.
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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