National Geographic : 1936 Jan
72 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Richard H. Stewart A COLOSSAL BACKDROP FOR A STRATOSPHERE DRAMA The partly inflated balloon tugs at its 36 tethering ropes, of which two appear above. Beneath the "bubble" of gas in the bag, folds of rubberized fabric hang straight down. At this time the flow of helium was stopped temporarily so that a 17-foot tear in the cloth could be patched (see text, page 91). The rent was caused by full gas pressure from the inflation line forming a "pocket" and bursting the fabric. The rounded dome in the center shows the formation of a similar gas pocket. The cloth sleeve for carrying gas, flat and empty at the moment, extends from the bottom of the picture to the balloon.