A crude version of a rubber balloon was invented in London, England by Michael Faraday in 1824; it was inflated with hydrogen and used in his experiments.
A similar version of the modern latex balloons of today were first manufactured in London, 1847, by J.G. Ingram but mass production did not occur until the 1930s.
Toy balloons were very popular until 1941 when World War Two began. The precious rubber used to manufacture the latex balloons was needed for the war effort. The balloon factories were recommissioned to make rubber products to help the cause such as raincoats, tires, tents, and other items. The high demand for rubber meant that none could be spared to create non-important or luxury items like balloons. Because of the absence of balloons among children and adults, balloon demand surged. Today, balloons are one of the most popular of all gift and party items.