www.best-breezes.squarespace.com - Time Line of Kite History - 1800-1900

Event NameStart DateNotes

Sir George Cayley of England builds a model glider ('aircraft') with "kite-wings" and a rudder.1804Cayley's glider model uses flat kite-like wings with flat surfaces (with no airfoil surface curve to them). The rudder is used for flight direction and stability.

Thailand's popular sport of kite fighting began during the reign of King Rama II (1809-1824),1809

George Pocock uses kites to lift his daughter demonstrating the lifting power of kites. He also develops his "Char Volant" a carriage pulled by a maneuverable kite.1822Pocock publishes his famous book: "the Aeropleuristic Art" describing his work with kite traction.

Sir William Parry and Rev. George Fisher use kites to lift thermometers.1822Parry and Fisher lifted thermometers to measure the temperature profile in the Arctic. No temperature gradient was found.

Fisher and Parry take temperature readings from kite in Arctic.1823Rev. George Fisher and Capt. Sir William Edward Parry - location - island of Iglooik off north east coast of North America.

James Espy begins meteorological readings with kite borne instruments.1827

James Espy forms the Franklin Kite Club in Philadelphia to use kites in science.1835

Franklin's Antarctic expedition packed Della Porta kites to aid in pulling sledges.1845

W.R. Birt uses hexagonal kites at Kew Oberservatory to carry meteorological equipment.1847

Homan Walsh flew a kite over the Niagara gorge to start suspension bridge.1848Walsh, a 15 year old American lad, flies his single line kite over the Niagara River's tumultous rapids filled gorge to enable construction crews to draw across heavier lines and eventually a steel cable to start construction of an international crossing from the United States to Canada.

During the Russian War, Admiral Sir. Arthur made trials with twelve-foot kites to see if they could be used to tow torpedoes to a target.1855The trials were very successuful. The kites travelled fast and accurately over distances of about two miles.

Fr. E. J. Cordner designs a kite rescue device to lift sailors from wrecked ships.1859Father Cordner uses these devices to aid ship wreck victims off the rocky coast of Ireland.

Cleveland Abbe and Charles du Hauvel experiment with instrument carrying kites to take air temperatures at various heights.1860Abbe and du Hauvel use kites as tools to lift instruments to measure the air over a 15 year period..

Mahlon Loomis, using two kites with wires to the ground, sent a wireless telegraph message in Virginia.1865Mahlon Loomis transmitted wireless telegraph messages between two mountains in Virginia. He used two kites flown18 miles apart, each carrying a wire that reached to the ground. When he interrupted the flow of electricity from the atmosphere, through the wire, to an earth ground, a galvanometer on the other kites wire measured a change in current. He obtained a patent for this system in 1872, but was unable to obtain financial backing to develop the system..

Joseph Simmons was lifted 600 feet in air by two kites.1876By using a system of guy lines he was able to glide back to earth from the elevated kite.

Douglas Archibald uses anemometer to determine wind speed at 1200 feet.1883Archibald introduced steel piano wire as kite line.

Maillot's kite lifts 100 lb bag of ballast to elevation of 300 feet.1883Marcel Maillot of France used a huge octagonal kites with an overall sail area of 775 square feet. The width of the kite was 32 feet.

Alexander McAdie carries out kite experiments at Blue Hill near Boston, MA.1885Under the direction of Lawrence Rotch the Blue Hill Observatory became an important location for meteorological research.

Maillot develops and uses a huge man-lifting kite in France.1885

Archibald takes world's first photos from a kite.1887In 1887 Archibald was flying kites in tandem up to 1500 feet to carry his cameras, anemometers and thermometers.

Arthur Batut (France) masters kite aerial photography.1888Batut's work with aerial photography was carried on in 1888-89.

US Weather Bureau begins regular meteorological exploration of "upper air".1890Kites of various types are used by the Weather Bureau. Kites continue to be used right up through the early years of powered flight until the late 1930's.

Wm. A. Eddy uses 5 kites in train to make automatic air temperature readings at Blue Hill, Mass.1891Eddy's kite train of 'tailless Malay Kites' lift a self-recording Hicks U Thermometer at the famous Blue Hill Observatory near Boston. Eddy's kites are 'bowed' on the cross spar to provide stability in flight. No tails are necessary.

Lawrence Hargrave of Australia develops Hargrave Box (multi-celled) kites.1892Hargrave produced a wide variety of multi-celled kite forms (circular and triangular) before settling on the rectangular 'Hargrave Box Kite' form associated with his name. The rectangular Hargrave Box kite has excellent flying characteristics and is consered to be one of the primary steps in the development of early airplanes: Wright, Chanute, et. al.

A keel for a kite was invented by Edward Boynton, Brooklyn, New York1893The keel added directional stability into the wind and helped to prevent "yaw" in the flight of kites that emply a keel.

Lawrence Hargrave was lifted from the ground by a train of four of his "cellular kites".1893This was one of many stages in Hargraves' quest for a stable lifting device which could then be used as a means of aerial transportation. Hargraves, from Australia, is considered by many to be one of the significant "fathers of manned flight".

Major BFS Baden-Powell lifts observers by kite for British army.1894Powell's kite is 36' tall and is named the 'Levitor'. British Army uses Powell's kites for 'man-lifted' aerial surveillance in South Africa during Boer War.

Wm. A. Eddy takes first aerial photographs in North America.1894Using a Kodak 'Bullet' camera and his tailless Eddy diamond kites, photos are taken of Bayonne NJ and area. Kitelines Magazine states that the date of this event was May

Blue Hill Observatory switches to Hargrave's kites for reliable instrument lifting.1895Hargraves kites are not only used at the Blue Hill Observatory near Boston, MA, but they are soon also employed across the USA by the fledgling US Weather Bureau to compile imporatant readings from the air as an aid to weather forecasting.

Gabriel and Charles Voisin of France use Hargrave's box kites to study lift.1895The Voisins use the Hargraves box kites as they work to solve the mysteries of powered manned flight.

Gilbert Totten Woglom takes photos of New York city from a kite.1895Woglom's kite is similar in many ways to the Eddy diamond kite. He used a train to achieve lift of the camera. Woglom's kite is known as the "Parakite" which he later patents..

Gilbert Totten Woglom, inventor of the ParaKite, takes aerial photos from a kite.1895September 21, 1895 is the date registered for Woglom's aerial photographs of the New York City area.

Blue Hill Observatory moves from using Eddy kites to Hargrave box kites.1895Blue Hill, under the direction of Prof. Charles F. Marvin who writes a great deal about kites and meteorology, finds the Hargrave box kite trains even more stable than Eddy kite trains and that the box kites provide greater lift.

Alexander Graham Bell begins kite experiments.1896Bell starts his experiments in flight with simple kites and moves to more complex ones over the years. He later developed the complex Tetrahedral Kite as part of his work in the study of the principles of flight and as an effort to build an aeroplane. Bell's work with aircraft continues until 1915. He forms the famous Aerial Experiment Association with his wife Mabel, Casey Baldwin (Canada), Douglas McCurdy (Canada), Lt. Thomas Selfridge (USA) and Glenn Curtiss (USA). Famous airplanes include: the Red Wing, White Wing, June Bug and Silver Dart (first plane to fly in Canada - Feb. 23, 1909).

S.F. Cody starts work on famous Cody War Kites.1898Cody uses trains of kites and elaborate basket system to develop reliable system for lifting obervers into the air.

US Army uses kite aerial photography for reconnaisance work in Spanish-American war.1898Manufactured kites bearing Eddy's name and the "Patent Pending" statement are produced for the US Army.

William Abner Eddy applies f patent of this tailless diamond kite.1898Encouraged by Boston industrialist James Means (correspondence dating to 1895) Eddy files of a patent on August 1, 1898.

Wright Brothers use a biplane glider flown as a kite in their test work.1899Tests of the model glider flown as a kite convince the Wright Brothers that their system of 'warping' the wings of their craft could be used to control the flight of a future manned aeroplane.

Eddy is issued U.S. Patent #646375 for his design of the tailless diamond kite.1900The most famous kite shape in modern history [the Edddy diamond kite] is patented to William Abner Eddy on March 27, 1990. Eddy goes on to license manufacture of his Eddy kites as 'war kites" for aerial photography and signalling. Only two original trademarked Eddy kites are known to be in existence today (Smithsonian Institution in Washington and Science & Technology Museum, Ottawa). Shortly after the US patent is issued, Eddy receives a British patent as well.

Kite History Timeline Ver.2.1 Created by Bob White - Protected by 'Creative Commons' Copyright. June 2008