National Geographic : 1936 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Richard H. Stewart THE GROUND CREW CLOSES IN TO ATTACH THE GONDOLA TO THE BAG It is just before dawn and one of the final and most delicate stages of preparation is at hand. The 36 temporary lines, attached to the upper catenary band, that hold the balloon to the earth are being released gradually by the men stationed at snubbing posts in front of the circle of lights. Because of the zero cold, three men were assigned to each rope-two to hold it and one as a relief-so that time out could be taken at regular intervals for warming. Meanwhile the scientists, working on a time schedule arranged in advance, take turns checking the instruments inside the gondola.