From animal bladders and intenstines onwards, and other connections, a history of balloons
. Quoted on the page, 'The first rubber balloons were made by Professor Michael Faraday
in 1824 for use in his experiments with hydrogen at the Royal Institution in London' (related, South London's Faraday Memorial
, a risky building
, on account of intensive redevelopment
in the area. It was designed by Rodney Gordon, who also had a hand in this late lamented things favourite
). Read on, and you find that one Thomas Hancock
introduced the first toy balloons (actually bottles of rubber solution).
The faintly underwhelming genre of inflatable architecture is far removed from the original experiments chronicled on sites like Bouncing Balls
('everything you ever wanted to know about rubber'). Hancock, he of the bottles, teamed up with Mr Mackintosh, the coat-maker, before their firm was subsumed into Dunlop
. In just a few days time, the latter's Manchester factory, Fort Dunlop
, will open as flats and a hotel, a mighty brick edifice supplemented by a big blue slice of Travelodge
, all masterminded by architects ShedKM
. Ironic that the two strands should end up so different; the rough solidity of the tyre factory and its honest, pitch-dark output, contrasting with the gossamer lightness of the fabric structure, appearing to hold itself aloft. Victorian factories were palaces of industry, elaborate in their solidity, yet also inspirational to high-tech architects - for the enginering acumen contained within - and the pop architects, for whom the ultimate evolution of that acumen offered astounding possibilities.
Meanwhile, the real palaces shrank into the background. Hamilton Palace
, doomed by approaching underground coal mining, and seen here in a virtual reconstruction of "one of Scotland's most famous lost buildings". It was ultimately demolished in the 20s; if not, claims this piece
in the Scotsman
, it would potentially have been "one of Scotland's leading tourist attractions, rivalling many of its English counterparts". Unfortunately all the images are held on Scran
, a database of images which only offers thumbnails to view for free. Some more about demolished country houses in Scotland
at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland
, which contains many heart-rending images: 'ICI expert wiring up explosives
prior to demolition, Murthly Castle
.' First demolition blast
. The Serpetine has been demolished now, too; ephemeral and now dissolved.
A few other things.Retrowow
, furniture and more from the 50s to the 70s / childhood memories of wartime London
. Related, Graham Greene's bleak short story, The Destructors
/ Balloon HQ
has a host of information about things to do with balloons, including a Twisting Balloon
guide and more. A huge gallery of balloon creations
/ What Names Reveal about the music style
: A study of naming patterns in popular music (pdf).