M. Petin, the French aeronaut, made an ascension from New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 25th, 1852, with three companions. Mons. Petin says that he attained the great elevation of twenty thousand feet, at which height the pressure on the lungs was so great that it was with great difficulty that they could speak. During the ascent he encountered no lass than six different currents of air. that from east to west being the strongest, but that at no time did he find any difficulty in directing the course of his frail bark at will. It was the intention of the navigator to have made a landing on the coast of Florida, but upon throwing over a bag of ballast for the purpose ot lightening his car, the hook of the bag caught upon some of the rigging attached to the balloon, below and out of his reach, thus rendering the descent into the waters ot Lake Borgne unavoidable. The point at which they struck the water was near a hundred miles from the city, which space had been traversed in less than one hour. Upon touching the water, the car, which was heavily ballasted, sank imme- diately, immersing the voyagers in the water, but with presence of mind they clung to the fastenings ot the balloon, until the car having discharged itself of its contents, ross bottom upwards, when they seated themselves upon the bottom aid there remained until rescued from their perilous position, alter being twenty-five minutes in the water, by the steamboat Alabama.
This article was originally published with the title "M. Petin's Balloon Ascension" in Scientific American 8, 18, 138 (January 1853)