Format Manuscripts/Mixed Material
Dates 1904
Language English
Subjects Aeronautics
Kites, Tetrahedral
Clipping, April 9, 1904
Washington Post April 9, 1904 BELL TO TEST HIS KITE Public Exhibition of New Flying Machine April 30. SCIENTISTS INVITED TO TRIAL Claims of the Tetrahedron as the True Principle of Aerial Navigation to Be Demonstrated in the Presence of the National Geographic Society—Wholly Different from Prof. Langley's Device. Prof. Graham Bell has decided to give a public exhibition of his famous tetrahedron kite, until now seen by no one but the men who helped him to construct it, and to fly it, in the wilds of Cape Breton Island over a year ago; the kite that has attracted the acute attention of the scientific world from the moment it became known that the famous scientist had, like many others, been bitten by the flying machine idea. The exhibition is to be given before the National Geographical Society, at an open-air meeting and expedition, to be held on Saturday, April 30. It has not yet been announced where the kite will be flown, or how much of a kite it will be, whether a toy or a working flying machine capable of sustaining a man in the air. Prof. Bell has not told, either, how much success he has had with his recent experiments. It is considered quite certain that the attendance of the society and its friends and guests will be a large one on this, one of the most unique of all its expeditions. The meeting will consume only the afternoon, it is said, and it is inferred from this that Prof. Bell does not intend to take the scientists to Widewater, or any other place far from the District. Presumably Prof. Langley, inventor of the ill-fated “buzzard,” will be among the spectators. A tetrahedron is a “solid with four equal triangular sides.” A tetrahedron kite, therefore, is a kite formed in the shape of a tetrahedron, and Prof. Bell has explained in his lectures on his kite that this unique shape gives it a peculiar sustaining power in the air only to be explained to the ultra scientific mind. Highest Lifting Power. If one is not particular for an accurate exposition of the principle, it has been hazarded by non-experts that a tetrahedron gives the largest possible amount of pressure on the atmosphere with the least possible weight. Prof. Bell has never ventured the assertion that he expects to be able to fly with his kite. He is said to believe, however, that his principle is the one that is most likely to be followed by the man who is successful ultimately in flying. Prof. Bell has spent many months and a large amount of money in his experiments with his kite. At his summer home on Cape Breton Island, for two or three seasons, he has worked in building and launching kites. Some experiments, too, have been made near Washington, but always privately and away from prying eyes. It is believed by some that the announcement of this exhibition means that he has made some important progress with his invention recently. The National Geographical Society will make another open-air trip with Prof. Holmes, the ethnologist, to old Indian relics in the vicinity of Washington, on Saturday, April 23. On May 21 an all-day expedition will be made to the battlefield Antietam.
Created / Published
April 9, 1904
Subject Headings
-  Kites, Tetrahedral
-  Aeronautics
-  Correspondence
Call Number
Series: Subject File
MSS51268: box 217, folder: Kites and Other Aeronautical Subjects, 1903-1906
Source Collection
Alexander Graham Bell family papers, 1834-1974.
Manuscript Division
Digital Id

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