An email from Jeff Grant calls into question my conclusion that the solution to the riddle under discussion is "A Hot Air Balloon." Using the website Google Books, he found that it appeared in the 1782 edition of The Ladies' Diary or Women's Almanac, where its author is identified as Miss Eliza Hurst. It appeared again in the October 6, 1783 edition of The Weekly Entertainer, another British publication, this time without an author given.
Eckler, Faith W.
"More Hot Air,"
Word Ways: Vol. 44
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol44/iss2/6