As a child one of my favourite events of the whole year was the White Family Picnic (Mom's side of the family).
There was endless hot dogs, potato salad and pop to be consumed. There was also lots of fun games and events to be enjoyed.
For some reason the funnest for me was the water balloon toss. I just couldn't get enough of it. Still can't. :-)
This coming Saturday at our annual MadLab Beach Day we will be continuing our tradition and having the water balloon toss. YES!!!
Being a history nerd I had to wonder where the water balloon came from...
There is a theory out there that throughout all of human history, war has been a major catalyst for technological development. This spans all facets of our lives from medicine to food to weaponry and on and on...
So I wasn't surprised to discover that the water balloon was yet another invention that came about due to war.
This excerpt is from the History of Balloons:
"A water balloon (also known as a water bomb) is a latex rubber balloon filled with water used in water balloon fights, during some festivities, and as a practical joke.
Although we have rubber balloons since the first half of 19th century (Michael Faraday invented them in 1824 for his experiments) the first water balloons appeared 1950. That was when Edgar Ellington tried to find a solution for a much serious problem - trench foot. Trench foot is a disease caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to damp, unsanitary, and cold conditions. He tried to make a waterproof sock by covering a normal cotton sock with latex which would make a sock watertight. The first problem that he encountered was that latex made it difficult to put a sock on. Prolonged stress would rip the socks so he decided to try and slowly heat the sock which would make it more elastic. This method allowed for easier putting on but caused another problem. After he had taken off the waterproof sock, Ellington wanted to make sure that it is still waterproof, so he filled it with water, but it started to leak. Disappointed with this, he threw the water-filled sock on the table, and it exploded! Satisfied with this effect, he decided to market a combination of a latex balloon and water to children. At first, he wanted to sell it as a “water grenade”, inspired by the origin of this toy, but he later decided to change the name to “water balloons” to make it less aggressive."
Well isn't that interesting?
Now that you are thoroughly informed as to the history of the water balloon I hope to see you all out there this coming Saturday for our MadLab Beach Day and water balloon toss.
Please don't forget to pick up and dispose of the scraps of your broken balloons. :-)