Mr Glaisher's Balloon Ascents (cont'd): July 17, 1862; August 18, 1862.
The first ascent was made, as has been stated, from Wolverhampton on July 17, 1862, and the journey was remarkable on account of a warm current that was met with at a great elevation. The weather, previous to the ascent, had been bad for a long time, and it had been delayed in consequence. The wind was still blowing from the west, and considerable difficulty was experienced in the preliminary arrangements, so that no instrument was fixed before starting. The balloon left at 9.43 A.M., and a height of 3800 feet was reached before an observation could be taken. At 4000 feet clouds were entered, and left at 8000 feet. The temperature of the air at starting was 59° Fahr., at 4000 feet it was 45°, and it descended to 26° at 10,000 feet, from which height to that of 13,000 feet there was no diminution. While passing through this space Mr. Glaisher put on additional clothing, feeling certain that a temperature below zero would be attained before the height of 5 miles was reached; but at the elevation of 15,500 feet the temperature was 30°, and at each successive reading, up to 19,5000, it increased, and was there 42°. The temperature then decreased rapidly, and was 16° at 26,000 feet. On descending it increased regularly to 27°.8 at 10,000 feet. A very rough descent, in which nearly 50 pounds worth of instruments were broken, was effected near Oakham, in Rutlandshire, in Rutlandshire, Mr. Coxwell having judged it prudent to descend on account of the proximity, as he supposed, of the Wash. In coming down, a cloud as entered at an elevation of 12,400 feet, and proved to be more than 8000 feet in thickness. The rise of temperature met with in this ascent was most remarkable.
The weather on the day (Aug. 18, 1862) of the third ascent was favourable, and there was but little wind. All the instruments were fixed before leaving the earth. A height of more than 4 miles was attained, and the balloon remained in the air about two hours. When at its highest point there were no clouds between the balloon and the earth, and the streets of Birmingham were distinctly visible. The descent was effected at Solihull, 7 miles from Birmingham. On the earth the temperature of the air was 67°.8, and that of the dew-point 54°.6; and they steadily decreased to 39°.5 and 22°.2 respectively at 11,500 feet. The balloon was then made to descend to the height of about 3000 feet, when both increased to 56°.0 and 47°.5 respectively. On throwing out ballast the balloon rose again, and the temperature declined pretty steadily to 24°.0, and that of the dew-point to --10°.0 at the height of 23,000 feet. During this ascent Mr. Glaisher's hands became quite blue, and he experienced a qualmish sensation in the brain and stomach, resembling the approach of sea-sickness; but no further inconvenience, besides such as resulted from the cold and the difficulty of breathing, was experienced. This feeling of sickness never occurred again to Mr. Galisher in any subsequent ascent.
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