Nourishment for hot air balloonists ca. 1910

"JH Wade Jrs' Racing Balloon"  Photo Courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society

“JH Wade Jrs’ Racing Balloon” Photo Courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society

On the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend 2014 I tossed the regular every day chores out the window and went digging into MS. 3292 (The Jeptha Homer Wade Papers) for something out of the ordinary. The shenanigans of Jeptha Homer Wade Jr. , a son of Jeptha Homer Wade II, are technically out-of-scope for The Wade Project–but who doesn’t love a good hot air balloon story.   Today I was working my way methodically through Box 8 of MS 3292 and came to Folder 59 “Correspondence related to hot air balloon races 1910-11, 1913, 1914, 1922, 1927, and 1933.J.H. Wade Jr. and his brother George Garretson Wade had a business venture called  “Wade Brothers Real Estate and Insurance.”  Here is a document on business letterhead dated 10/17/10 in Jeptha Wade Jrs’ handwriting of a selection of the items needed for a ballooning adventure.

J.H. Wade Jr.'s 1910 equipment list for a balloon adventure

J.H. Wade Jr.’s 1910 equipment list for a balloon adventure

At the bottom of the second column are his thoughts on the minimum daily requirements (MDR) for sustenance under the category food and drink:

  • Ballon race food2 qts whiskey
  • 3 pts black coffee
  • chocolate
  • sandwiches
  • cold chicken
  • fruit (oranges and apples)
  • condensed stuff




Added in pencil off to the side are two more items that occurred to him upon reflection:  raw eggs and Uneeda Biscuits.    Uneeda Biscuits, for those of you not old enough to remember, were one of the earliest crackers to come pre-wrapped for freshness–both the cracker and the “In-Er Seal” were the invention of the National Biscuit Corporation, better known today as Nabisco, under the leadership of Adolphus Green.  And if you don’t know about Adolphus Green here’s a link to an interesting blog post by Joshua Kennon about the Founder of Nabisco.

Uneeda Biscuit Adverstising

Uneeda Biscuit Adverstising




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