The first balloon observation of a cosmic X-ray source, the Crab Nebula, was made in 1965, only three years after the initial discovery of such sources by rocket observations. Since then balloon data has provided much information on the positions, spectra, time variability and pulsed nature of localized sources, and on the spectrum and isotropy of diffuse galactic and universal components. Measurements are limited to energies above about 20 keV by atmospheric attenuation at 2 3 g cm -2 depth and to below several hundred keV by detector sensitivity. Detectors usually consist of large area NaI or CsI scintillation counters with anticoincidence collimators for rejection of charged particles and scattered X-rays. Proportional counters are occasionally used at lower energies and solid state detectors are used where extreme energy resolution is important. The instruments require a pointing capability on the order of 1.0 to 0.1°, depending on the collimator aperture. Digital data is either recorded on board or telemetered using a PCM technique. Exploratory work in the 0.2 10 MeV γ-ray range is starting now, and balloon observations may be expected to make important contributions in the near future.