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Balloon frame

a wooden building frame composed of machine-sawed scantlings fastened with nails, having studs rising the full height of the frame with the joists nailed to the studs and supported by sills or by ribbons let into the studs.
Historical Examples

They are built of wood, balloon frame, with a plain pitch roof, without ornament.
Woodward’s Country Homes George E. Woodward

(p. 067) The balloon frame was divided into seventeen compartments, each of which held a ballonet filled with hydrogen gas.
Aircraft and Submarines Willis J. Abbot.

If a mechanic is employed, the balloon frame can be put up for forty per cent.
Woodward’s Country Homes George E. Woodward

The early history of the balloon frame, is somewhat obscure, there being no well authenticated statements of its origin.
Woodward’s Country Homes George E. Woodward

The balloon frame has for more than twenty years been before the building public.
Woodward’s Country Homes George E. Woodward

The balloon frame (fig. 36) is composed of much smaller scantlings and is more rapidly erected and less expensive.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 4 Various


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  • Balloon goes up, the

    The undertaking begins, as in He’s going to announce his candidacy for mayor—the balloon goes up on Monday. This expression comes from World War I, when British artillery sent up a balloon to notify gunners to open fire, this visual signal being more reliable than courier or telephone. It was soon transferred to signal other […]

  • Balloon payment

    noun a large payment that concludes a series of smaller payments, for example in order to repay a loan

  • Balloon loan

    noun a loan in respect of which interest and capital are paid off in instalments at irregular intervals

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