We've all been to birthday parties and other celebrations where balloons were present. They come in all sorts of shapes and colours, and they always seem to add an extra touch of fun to the festivities. But have you ever stopped to wonder what balloons are made of? The answer may surprise you...
The History of Balloons
Balloons have been around for centuries, with the earliest known examples dating back to the late 18th century. Early balloons were made from a variety of materials, including animal intestine, paper, and even rubber. It wasn't until the 19th century that rubber became the primary material used for making balloons.
The Invention of Rubber Balloons
Rubber was first used to make balloons in 1824 by French physicist Jules Henri Poincaré. However, it wasn't until 1847 that rubber balloons began being mass-produced. This was thanks to American inventor Charles Goodyear, who discovered a process called vulcanisation that made rubber stronger and more resilient. Once Goodyear's process was widely adopted, rubber balloon production took off - literally!
How Are Rubber Balloons Made?
These days, most rubber balloons are made using a moulding process. First, a large sheet of latex is placed over a metal mould in the shape of the desired balloon. Then, hot air is blown into the mould, causing the latex to expand and take on the shape of the balloon. After the balloon has cooled, it is removed from the mould and then inflated with air or helium before being tied off at the end.
So next time you see a balloon at a party or celebration, you can impress your friends by telling them that it's made of rubber - and now you know how those rubbery orbs are created!