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New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico TRAVEL Flying high in Albuquerque Luis Sanchez New Mexican Duke Citys new museum celebrates history of ballooning By Anna Macias Aguayo Press ALBUQUERQUE One look at the autumn sky here dotted each morning with colorful hot air balloons shows why the city has come to bo known as the Balloon Capital of the That reputation will only grow now that a unique museum devoted to the rich history of this most graceful form of flight has opened The AndersonAbruzzo International Bal loon Museum opened Saturday Albuquerques annual Balloon Fiesta which started a day earlier The fiesta draws people from around the world For people who arent theres a sense of wonder about how these things get up in the air And who are these people that wake up so early in the morning to do this said Marilee Schmit Nason curator of collections for the new museum Our museum will answer those questions and the questions people never knew to ask Using interactive computerized exhibits an expansive collection of ballooning memorabilia and displays of recordsetting balloons the city hopes to bring to life the history of ballooning The displays assembled from the collections of famous balloonists worldwide will make their home in a new million building Architect Marc Shiff designed the building to look like a balloon about to launch Schmit Nason said shes excited that exhibits will include relics as old as ballooning itself For example one display will show a hand written letter with a watercolor picture by LeSuer Phillipe The Frenchman witnessed what is believed to be the worlds first balloon flight in 1783 It didnt take long for ballooning to become a popular amusement for people In the 1800s people attending festivals and fairs around the globe paid money for short balloon rides In 1882 a local saloon owner Park Van Tassel launched Albuquerques first gas balloon named appropriately The City of Albuquerque As early as 1860 balloons also were used for advertising as evidenced by a perfume bottle shaped balloon in Victorian England There were a lot of people who saw the pos sibility of making money from Schmit Nason said In some places there were people paying money to be allowed to jump from the balloon with a There are two types of balloons hot air and gas Hotair balloons float because air inside the balloon is hotter than the air outside Since hot 12 SUNDAY Oct 28 2005 The New Mexican magazine
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