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Through the Air

The Perils of a Sky-Scraper Skipping Over a Large City—Exciting adventure of John Wise, Jr.
[Master John Wise, (grandson of Prof. John Wise), a lad of 16 years, and a pupil of the High school at Philadelphia, who is engaged by the International Exhibibition Co. to make aerial voyages from their grounds, has furnished us with the following graphic account of his aerial experiment, made on the day of the opening of the International on the 10th of May. He says, in a private letter to us, that "the day was unfitted for a balloon ascention, but inasmuch as I was mixed up with such notable men as Senaters Blaine, Bayard and Wallace, I was ambitious to be able to say "how we apples do swim," and I swam with a vengeance—through wind and rain—over chimney tops, to the detriment of capstones and terracottas; but the confidence I have in the uplifting power of the balloon kept me cool as a cucumber, and the rough and hustle I experienced in this trip has increased that confidence, and now I dread no kind of weather for aeronautic experiments."—Ed.]

Friday the 10th day of May being assigned as the day for the opening of the Permanent International Ex-[[cutoff]]

noticed that the balloon was quite empty, and it immediately flashed across our minds that there must be a large hole in the balloon somewhere. This emptiness necessitated some more gas and after giving her a final whiff I stepped into the car and taking advantage of a momentary lull I was cut loose from mother earth amidst the hurrahs of the immense multitude which had now assembled both inside of the grounds and on the street outside. A very graceful ascent was made to the height of 4,000 feet, and at this point the loss of gas through the rent was sensibly felt, as a rapid descent followed. This required the discharge of 40 pound of ballast, when up again we sailed, and in a few minutes I was over the Schuylkill river. When I reached Girard College I had descended within 500 feet of the earth. Herre I witnessed the drilling of the cadets, but the descent necessitated the throwing out the remainder of the ballast, and it had no where to fall but in the rank and file of the cadets. From their manner I saw they did not like this kind of fire.

I now made rapid traveling to [[cutoff]] street, where I dispensed with drag rope and all other weighty articles. Here I witnessed a sight seldom seen. An immense mass of men, women and children were following the balloon and completely filling up all thoroughfares. [[cutoff]] ey had not long to follow, for in [[cutoff]] ew minutes I struck a roof at [[cutoff]]25 North 10th street. Thousands of people had been hallooing their advice. Some said "jump," others cried, "O you will be killed," and sundry other expressions, but I disregarded all advice, knowing [[cutoff]] only plan [[cutoff]] there was no immediate danger anywhere. The balloon drifted across the roof and struck a chimney, where it struggled a few seconds and then dropped into a very [[cutoff]] By this time it was nearly empty, and in coming down it caught in the gabel end of the roof and a large hole was torn in it. This afforded more chance for the escape of the gas, and in half an hour the balloon was empty.

In the meantime a large squad of police arrived to keep the people form breaking the wooden buildings and fences down for squares around. They were quite unable to cope with the immense throng now assembled, and all they could do was to look on like the rest of the people. the sergeant now came to me and said, "For God's [[cutoff]] balloon a man or [[cutoff]]
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