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with

the early special shapes

If you take a look back in time you will find that the special shaped hot air balloon has been a part of the ballooning landscape since the late-1960s and early-1970s. There have been and still remain numerous builders of the special shaped hot air balloon. This writer can still recall the first special shape balloon he ever seen – it was a big blue whale. Another of the early and well-remembered shapes is the Golly II balloon (seen here), manufactured by Cameron Balloons of Bristol England. As you can see, the head was a standard shaped balloon attached to a long, thin body below. Modeled after a fictitious character from a children’s book  of  the  late  19th  century, "Gollywog",  shortened  to 

George Stokes, developer and manufacturer of the Stokes Balloon systems of the mid-1970s and early-1980s. Stokes Balloons can be credited with at least two of the earlier built special shaped balloons. Here you will see the two photographs  from the mid-1970s of 

Other  well-known  

simply click the photographs to enlarge

and view in greater detail

Cameron 1976

"Golly", was a black rag doll. Reproduced as a toy, by hobby toy-makers, "Gollywog" enjoyed great popularity in Europe and Australia in the 1970s.  

RAVEN/Piccard 1981

the Stokes built Whale balloon (mentioned above) as well as the Stokes built Orville Redenbacher Popcorn balloon.

Cameron 1983

Stokes 1976

Cameron 1984

special shaped hot air balloons of the 1970s and 1980s include the Garcia’s “Pizza in a Pan” balloons. Pictured here are two of the Garcia’s balloons, one manufactured by RAVEN Balloons and the other by Piccard Balloons. Other special shaped balloons of the early years include the Champion spark plug, BallPark Frank, Levis Jeans and many of the Malcom Forbes fleet to include the Silliman, Santa Maria sailing ship and so many more.

Cameron 1985

Cameron 1986

Cameron 1974

Adams 1983

Cameron 1976

Cameron 1978

Cameron 1986