Balloon Hoax

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849) American short-story writer, poet, and critic


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Story by Poe, published in the New York Sun (April 13, 1844) in the guise of an actual article of news. According to the author, the “jeu d'esprit… subserved the purpose of creating indigestible aliment for the quidnuncs during the few hours intervening between a couple of the Charleston mails.” It is an account of a fictitious crossing of the Atlantic in 75 hours (April 6–9) by eight men in “Mr. Monck Mason's Flying Machine … the Steering Balloon ‘Victoria.’” The balloon, inflated with coal gas, is supposed to have started from a place in north Wales, headed out over the ocean, and then been caught in a powerful gale that lasted two days, driving the craft at great speed until it was landed on Sullivan's Island, S.C.

Subjects: Literature.

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