Archibald, 1897, Earth's Atmosphere

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Douglas Archibald. The Story of the Earth's Atmosphere. London: George Newnes, Limited: Southampton Street, Strand. 1897.

Online at Internet Archive.

Contains a chapter recommended by the Aeronautical Journal (Vol. 1, No. 4, October 1897, p. 21) entitled "Suspension and Flight in the Atmosphere". "A brief but comphrehensive history of the balloon is followed by a short account of attempts to navigate the air, and a longer and illustrated description of kites and their uses. Though we notice one or two slight inaccuracies, such as the statement that Pilatre de Rozier in 1783 employed "ordinary coal gas" for his first ascent, we can thoroughly recommend this 'nutshell full' of information to those who want to know about the atmosphere."

Mentions a Lichtenberg of Göttingen as an early balloon experimenter, filling a goatskin with hydrogen and causing it to rise (p. 173).

Credits, as the inventor of the kite, a Chinese general named Han Sin, in 206 BC.

In modern times George Pocock of Bristol used kites to draw carriages between Bristol and London. Admiral George Back and William Radcliffe Birt were early users (1847) of kites for meteorology (p. 184).

Archibald describes what seems to be his own experiments with kites bearing meteorological instruments.

He also mentions experiments by Abbott Lawrence Rotch and B.F.S. Baden-Powell. He refers to a publication, Baden-Powell, 1895, Kites, their uses in War, and to Marvin, 1897, The Mechanics and Equilibrium of Kites (or a similar text by Marvin from 1896).

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