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Daredevil Balloonist: W.H. Donaldson, 1840-1875

James W. Raab (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-6073-4 ©2010
Price: $14.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 249 pages
Category/Subject: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts

…Is he a birdman, or just bird-brained? Rubberneckers by the thousands flock to see the world’s greatest aerial performer, Washington H. Donaldson, always hoping this will be the day he bloodies up the landscape!

Do you ever wonder what people did to entertain themselves before cars, radio, TV, movies, and video games, back in the “dark ages” of the 1870s? Aside from going to church, maybe the county fair—that was it, besides working seven days a week. So when an exhibitionist came to town with a balloon, well, that was a happening.
Throughout the country in 1872, Professor Donaldson—the “crazy balloonatic”—frightens hundreds of thousands of citizens half out of their wits with his daring trapeze-balloon antics. … “Wash” survives one dangerous exhibition after another. … His disregard for danger makes him the most noted and sought-after aeronaut of the period.

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Customer Reviews

  An Exciting Life Story , 12/29/2010
Reviewer: Beth Mansbridge
If you're looking for adventure, read this story of W. H. Donaldson. Who among us can walk on the high wire? That loses its excitement for him after a while so he takes up hot air ballooning while recording the data for science. Sometimes he ascends in his balloon without the basket, sitting and doing tricks on a trapeze swing. He is a celebrity on the P. T. Barnum circus route. In the mid-1800s hot air ballooning is far from a normal activity. Through the author's research and Donaldson's own journal accounts, we hop into the hot air balloon with him and his daring passengers. All aboard!

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