The History of Leith

May 22, 2007

The Flying Leither

In 1784 James Taylor who lived near Restalrig thought of building a balloon on the same principles as the Montgolfier brothers. He was a poor man who supported himself and his family by writing.

So he built his balloon and on the big day the balloon was inflated with hot air and began to rise from what is now Comely Gardens. It was discovered that he couldn’t carry a fire stove. So in his desperation he jumped into the basket which in fact was a packing case used for dishes. The balloon with Taylor travelled less then half a mile and went less the three hundred feet in the air coming down near to Restalrig Road, Netherless Taylor was the first person in Britain to ascend in a balloon, and in fact the first person in Britain to fly.

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