Kites in Meteorology
Posted by: NorStar
N 42° 12.734 W 071° 06.818
19T E 325532 N 4675503
Quick Description: This sign details the history of kite flying to make observations high in the earth's atmosphere, before they used balloons.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 1/1/2007 4:09:52 PM
Waymark Code: WM13A7
The sign says:
"A time line and brief history of how kites were used to investigate the earth's atmosphere.
"Dr. Alexander Wilson and one of his students, Thomas Melville of fthe University of Glasgow in Scotland, used a train of kites to lift thermometers to different altitudes. The thermometers were then released into the air, as a fuse attached to the thermometer, extinguished. Paper brushes attached to the thermometers acted as parachutes, slowing their descent to the earth. This method enabled Wilson and Melville to read the temperature of the air at different altitudes.
"In Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite into the clouds to prove that electricity was present. Franklin held the kite line, which was made of hemp, except the lowest section, which was made of silk. a small iron key was fastened to the line at the point where the silk and hemp connected.
"Abbott Lawrence Rotch started the Blue Hill Meteorological Obsrevatory near Boston, Massachusetts. Alexander G. McAdie flew the first kite at Blue Hill to study electricity in the upper atmosphere.
"Australian Lawrence Hargrave of Sydney presented his two-celled box kite, with two parallel lifting surfaces per kite, to the Aeronautical Congress in Chicago. The Congress discussed the uses of kites in meteorology. William Eddy also developed his tailless Malay kite this year.
"The United States Weather Bureau started experiments with kites under the supervision of Alexander G. McAdie and S. A. Potter. On August 4th, William Eddy flew a modified thermograph designed by the Richard Brothers of France and a barograph with five "Eddy" kites to an altitude of 436 meters at Blue Hill. This was the first recording instrument ever flown by kite. In the fall of 1894, regularly scheduled flights with recording instruments gegan at Blue Hill Observatory. During these flights the sounds of the atmosphere were recorded for the first time in the world's history.
"Leon Teisserence De Bort founded the scientific observatory at Trappes, near Versailles France.
"At Constantin Observatory, near Pawlowsk, Russia, kites performed the first meteorological investigations into the altitude of clouds. The US Weather Bureau founded seventeen kite stations under the direction of Willis L. Moore. Observations continued over the next six months as kites were flown
to altitudes between 1000 to 2000 meters. Dr. Hugo Hergesell, President of the International Aeronautical Committee in Strasbourg, Germany, began meteorological kite flights at Elzas-Lotharingen, using American kite Models.
"Vladimir Koppen conducted his first experiments with kites at the German Coastal Observatory in Hamburg. General Rykatchew flew anemometers in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Mr. Tacchini proposed the use of kites at Italian stations based in the mountains.
"Dr. Richard Assman founded the Prussian Meteorological Institute.
"Kites at Mt. Weather Observatory in Washington DC reached an altitude of 7000 meters. Kites were used extensively, worldwide, for the next twenty years. In 1919, the highest altitude ever reached by a train of kites was recorded at 9740 meters in Lindenberg, Germany. By 1931, all meteorological observations involving kites had ceased in the U.S."
Agency Responsible for Placement: Other (Place below)
Agency Responsible for Placement (if not in list above): Blue Hill Observatory
City/Town Name: Milton
Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]
Year Placed: Not listed
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