Simon Willison’s Weblog


Leicester balloon riot (via) In 1864 a test flight of a new hydrogen balloon in Leicester’s Victoria Park attracted 50,000 spectators, and ended in a riot that destroyed the balloon. “Early in the afternoon there was a disturbance when a gentleman, claiming to be an aeronaut, announced that Britannia was not Coxwell’s newest and biggest balloon but an older model. This enraged the crowd who, shortly after 2pm, broke down the barrier and demanded that Coxwell take off immediately.”