Tuesday, November 6, 2012
7th November Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Kite Day
The Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Kite Day is a NSW Department of Education and Training event that brings 1000 Illawarra primary school students together at Stanwell Park to celebrate the achievements of Australian aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave. On the 12th of November , 1894, Lawrence Hargrave became the first man in the world to achieve vertical lift off while tethered to four box-kites on Stanwell Park beach. Hargrave's achievement was one of the most significant milestones in the development of manned flight.
Lawrence Hargrave, an aeronautical pioneer and inventor was born in England in 1850, but came to Australia in 1865 where he lived until he died in 1915. In 1893 he moved to Stanwell Park and began working on his second great invention, the box kite. He wanted to lift himself into the air. After a number of attempts on 12th November 1894 he lifted himself from the beach at Stanwell Park in a four kite construction attached to the ground by piano wire. This invention then inspired inventors and flight enthusiasts in Europe and America, in particular the Wright Brothers. Australia commemorates his achievements with his appearance on our $20 note.
While there aren't any children's books specifically about Lawrence Hargraves, there are many nonfiction books about flight, the history of flight, the Wright brothers and kites.