August 3, 2022
One of the earliest pioneers of the children’s amusement turned flying apparatus was daredevil/photographer Al Mingalone. His attempt in 1937 to suspend himself hundreds of feet in the air using only balloons laid the groundwork for many balloon-related escapades like Larry Walters AKA the “Lawn Chair Pilot" decades later. This is the story of balloon-father Al Mingalone.
The Associated Press headline for Mingalone’s skyward exploration said it all, “A New York newsreel photographer went on an unscheduled, un-scientific ascent into the atmosphere today.” But to explain how the Paramount photographer ended up drifting thousands of feet over Maine, one only needs to look at his thrill-seeking history.