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By Dan Beard

The McAdie-Hammon California Barrel Kite.

From the latest reports from the Pacific it would appear that our Far West does not intend to be left behind in kite building and they are now flying a paper barrel with a how-sprit in place of a belly-band, the description of which I must quote from the San Francisco Chronicle.

"For some months past W. H. Hammon and A. G. Mc Adie, of the United States Weather Bureau, have been experimenting with a great variety of sizes and shapes in kites, in the hope of finding one that will safety carry an aluminum thermograph to a height of 1,000 feet, so that the instrument may record and, when returned to earth, inform them of the condition of the atmosphere far above the house tops. From some such observations they would be able to foretell many of the pranks of the weather, but their service in this line would be of most value to shipping, as the fact that a fog was coming in could be ascertained so long before its arrival as to give ample time for warning every ship in the bay of the danger which threatened moving vessels.

" On Tuesday Hammon and McAdie tried a queerly shaped apparatus, which rose into the air with such a remarkable willingness as to highly elate its inventors. In appearance the new kite bears a close resemblance to a paper barrel, with bowsprit projecting from one end.

Its form is cylindrical. It is about four feet long and two feet in diameter. It is made up of four very light hoops, and braced together with thin strips of wood. The twelve inch space between the pair of hoops at either end is covered with a collar of paper, and the string by which the kite is held is attached to a stick which passes diagonally through the inside of the cylinder from end to end, projecting from that end nearest the operator.

"The arrangement is something of a modification of the Australian kite, invented by Professor Hargrave, but a wonderful improvement over his apparatus, as shown by Tuesday's test. Hammon and McAdie worked on their new kite for some weeks before giving it trial, and as they have met with many disappointments expected little else when they hoisted their paper barrel. The trial took place in the ten-acre lot just north of the German Hospital, and there were fifty or sixty boys of the neighborhood on hand to guy the inventors had their latest device proved a fizzle. McAdie held the odd-looking object, and Hammon walked off with the string tied to the bowsprit in his hand. He looked ahead of him to see that there were no boys over which to stumble and cried out:

"'All right, McAdie!'

"McAdie let go the kite, Hammon ran and the new-fangled kite soared up into the air, not so gracefully, but with less apparent effort than a sea-gull shows as it flits across the waters of the bay. For a few minutes Hammon had all be could do to let out string, but McAdie, who was at leisure after the hoisting, gazed at the object of their labor with a delighted smile and yelled, 'Eureka!' while the small boys cheered the artificial bird on its upward flight.

"In the air the body of the kite maintains a horizontal position, and the bowsprit attachment, of course, points downward. Although at Tuesday's trial the new kite did not rise to as high an altitude as have some of the Malay or flat kites which the weather man have experimented with, it carried the string which held it to an angle much nearer a perpendicular than any of the others have. This tendency of the new kite to stand more nearly over its anchor, when in the air, leads to the belief that ultimately it will be an easy matter to send the kite up 1,000 feet.

"McAdie recently informed the Chief of the Weather Bureau at Washington, Willis Moore, that he would surprise him some day by sending him in a report of the atmospherical conditions existing 1,000 feet above San Francisco. He and Hammon propose that the San Francisco Bureau shall be the first to officially record such observations.

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Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Introduction ] 25 Kites That Fly ] 2 Stick Frames ] 3 Stick Kite Frames ] Broom-Straw Frames ] Accessories ] Adjustments ] Altitude ] Balloon ] [ Barrel ] Bear Dancing ] Boat Sail ] Box, Pyramidal ] Box, Rectangular ] Box, Square ] Box, Square with Wings ] Box, Tri,  Wings ] Triangular Box Kite ] Boy ] Loose Kites ] Butterfly 1 ] Butterfly 2 ] Butterfly Chinese ] Cannibal ] Kite Clubs ] Cross ] Dragon Chinese ] Dragons & Fish ] Eddy ] Elephant ] English ] Filipino ] Fish ] Fisherman ] Kite Flying ] Flying Machine ] Frog 1 ] Frog 2 ] Girl ] Imp ] Japanese Square ] Keeled Buoy ] King Crab ] Knives & Cutters ] Luna Kite ] Kite Making ] Malay ] Maley or Bow ] Maly Triple ] Man ] Messengers ] Military ] Moving Star ] Neptune Notes ] Owl 1 ] Owl 2 ] Pennants ] Preface ] Pulley Weight ] Shield 1 ] Shield 2 ] Star ] Star, 5 Point ] Star, 6 Point ] Star, Belly-Band ] Steering ] Hargrave ] String 1 ] String 2 ] Swim ] Tailless ] Tailless R Best ] Tandem ] Tetrahedral ] Turtle ] Useful Info ] Wagon ] War ] Armed ] Unarmed ] Where to Fly ] Wind ] Winding In ] Windmill ] Ship ] Woglom ] Woman ] Yacht ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.