Many undoubtedly know that a replica of the Civil War hot air balloon Intrepid is supposed to sail this summer. The story has been in the sesquicentennial news for some months now. Well, put the emphasis on the supposed to. An unforeseen helium shortage may ground the project before it takes off.

(Update: The Intrepid will fly this July after all. Macy’s–the folks who put on the annual Thanksgiving Day parade–are donating 50,000 cubic feet of helium to the Genesee Country Village & Museum to get the project off the ground–literally.

(image/inventor and aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe rises to witness the fighting at Seven Pines, June 1862; Matthew Brady studio)