Balloon ascension, Clinton Square, 1871

Balloon ascension, Clinton Square, 1871

Hundreds watched as Prof. C. C. Coe of Rome, New York, launched his hot-air balloon New World from Clinton Square as part of an 1871 balloon race. Note the Erie Canal, crossing the square from right to left. At this time, L. Frank Baum was living in Syracuse, aged fifteen. If he was not among the onlookers, he surely heard of the celebrated event, memories of which may have inspired the hot-air balloon scene in The Wizard of Oz.

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