First successful manned hot air balloon launched in America – 23rd June 1784

Hot air ballooning was very much in fashion in the 1780s and most people know the Montgolfier Brothers made the first hot air balloon flights in France in 1783.  We also know from our previous blog that the first men who died in a manned hot air flight were Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Romain in 1785. However, across the other side of the world, a year earlier according to the St James Chronicle of 28th August 1784, a young man aged just 13, by the name of Edward Warren was the first person to participate in a US balloon flight. The exact date of this flight seems to vary between the 23rd and 25th June.

Authentic accounts from Baltimore, in Maryland, mention Mr Carns, an inhabitant of that Town, had constructed several air-balloons which has succeeded beyond expectation.  On the 25th June last, he sent up a large aerostatic Globe, to which one Edward Warren, a youth of 13 years of age, was fastened; the balloon went out of sight, and was in the air near two hours, when the weather being exceedingly calm, it descended about two miles from Baltimore, amidst the acclamations of the people, who liberally rewarded the boy for the intrepidity he had shown upon the occasion.

Mr Carns apparently wanted to make the attempt himself but was too large for the basket, so Edward was a last minute substitution.

We have searched everywhere we can think of to find out what became of the young man, but without success. Do any of our American readers know what became of Edward Warren?

An air balloon invented in the last century
Courtesy of Lewis Walpole Library

2 thoughts on “First successful manned hot air balloon launched in America – 23rd June 1784

    1. All Things Georgian

      Thank you so much for taking the time to investigate, this we had noted that there were other mentions of Peter Carnes, but nothing seems to know what became of the young man, you would expect there to be something about him somewhere with such a claim to fame. Hopefully one of our readers will be able to answer the question. Sadly, we’re unable to open the link – technology eh!


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