Taunton, MA. – September 24, 1902

Taunton, Massachusetts – September 24, 1902


     On September 24, 1902, the Bristol County Agricultural Society Fair was being held in Taunton, Massachusetts, and part of the entertainment featured balloon ascensions, and parachute drops. 

     One ascension was made safely by a man identified as Professor Stafford in the early afternoon.  Another was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. later that day, which would include a triple parachute drop to be performed by the professor,  his wife, and an assistant, Louis Girard. 

     At 4:30 p.m., the balloon lifted from the ground, but almost immediately it was apparent that something was wrong, and Mrs. Stafford dropped away safely. 

     The balloon then quickly rose to a height of 400 feet where it began to rip apart and collapse.  At this point the professor dropped away with his parachute and landed safely, but Girard became entangled in the ropes and couldn’t free himself.   The balloon came crashing down and struck with great force.  Girard was pulled unconscious from the wreck and taken to a nearby hospital where he died of his injuries.  


     Hartford Courant, (Conn.), “Aeronaut Killed”, September 25, 1902 

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