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Army balloons

The subject of balloons having assumed so much importance of late, as a medium through which the strength and location of an enemy can be ascertained, we publish the subjoined from the Oxford (North Carolina) Leisure Hour:

‘ In the last few days we have seen much from the Northern papers about the efficiency of army balloons, in which a Professor Lowe figured as King of the Clouds. We have some recollection of the antecedents of this individual. He is the same stupendous humbug that had a balloon on exhibition in Crystal Palace Square, New York, about twelve months ago. He had interested the public, through the New York papers, in his great gas bag, by inducing the people to believe that he would make a trip to Europe in three days. Thousands went to see the magnificent contrivance which was to accomplish the wonderful trip, and each paid twenty-five cents for the privilege. Conjoined to the balloon were numerous appendages which served only as rebuses for the gassing spectators. One we distinctly remember, was a small engine which was about as useful in air navigation as an eagle is to the locomotion of a hippopotamus. The balloon succeeded only in one thing; it put money into the pocket of Lowe who did not make the trip across the Atlantic.

When we again heard of the Professor, he was taking the citizens of Philadelphia. through the same exciting routine of sight-seeing. He finally appointed a day for his ascension and exit to Europe; thousands of the denizens of the city of ‘"Brotherly Love"’ had assembled to witness the ‘"grand ascension;"’ the hour arrived; the great gas bag bursted and collapsed; the professor pocketed the quarters, and thus closed the second eventful chapter of Professor Lows.

A few days ago, we read that the Professor was in Washington trying the adaptation of the balloon to the army service. The Administration were at one end of a telegraph wire on the earth and the Professor at the other end, in his balloon, several hundred feet above the earth. The Professor was communicating ‘"important intelligence"’ of the movements of Gen. Beauregard at Manassas. He will doubtless give them as much ‘"important intelligence"’ as they will receive credulously, and when he has bamboozled Abraham, Seward & Co., to his hearts content, will profess to be of no further service, pocket a few thousand for ‘"important services"’ and hold himself in readiness for similar patriotic performances.--Vive la humbug.

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Louis Lowe (2)
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