On the 12th of November, 1894, Lawrence Hargrave was lifted from the ground by a train of four of his "cellular kites". This was simply one stage in his quest for a stable lifting surface which could then be powered and used as a means of transportation. Hargrave was doing his utmost to invent the aeroplane!
In the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries Lawrence Hargrave presented at least twenty papers at meetings of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He also corresponded extensively with other scientists and auronautical experimenters, such as Octave Chanute, B.F.S. Baden-Powell, Alexander Graham Bell, Percy Pilcher, and William Eddy.
Hargrave developed several styles of kites and gliders, refined and developed the concept of curved surface wings, and also invented the rotary engine. He never patented any of his inventions, preferring them to be available for the advancement of mankind. He made scathing attacks on people who experimented in secrecy with the intention of profiting from their inventions, accusing them of trying to exploit humanity.
Soaring Machines. Royal Society of New South Wales, November 2, 1898
Sailing Birds are Dependent on Wave Power. Royal Society of New South Wales, September 7, 1899
Rigid Stable Aeroplanes. Royal Society of New South Wales, December 1, 1909
Excerpts from Hargrave's Journals
Hargarve's Manlift. November 12, 1894Description. - small image, large image
Illustration - small image, large image
Letters to and from HargraveFrom Octave Chanute. September 26, 1893 - small image, large image
To BFS Baden-Powell. February 5, 1894 - small image, large image
Hargrave's kitesCellular variations February 10, 1893 - small image, large image
Alteration of Kite A. July 9, 1894 - small image, large image
Kite B. February 8, 1894 - small image, large image
Kite C. September 13, 1894 - small image, large image
Kite D. October 14, 1894 - small image, large image
Illustrations from "Cellular Kites" February 1893. A, B, C, D, E, F, Z
Associated articles about Hargrave kites
Simon Freiden's man lift at Kitefest '99
Cradle of Aviation's Hargrave Replica. Seymour Goldberg. November '98
Lenneke Cayley's Hargrave replica - Royal Park, November '97
Other Hargrave websites:
Visit the Monash
University - Hargrave Library "Lawrence Hargrave" Website.
You can find out about Hargrave resources at Australian libraries and museums by visiting "Bright SPARCS" Page. you might like to visit the Breeze and Eeze page on Hargrave as well.
Websites about kiting pioneers:
Return to the AKA home page
This site is the recipient of the
History Teachers' Association of Victoria
"Page Out Of History" Award