Drachen Financial Aid: Hargrave Collection Being Conserved

Ben Ruhe
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With financial assistance from the Drachen Foundation, the Royal Aeronautical Society of England is conserving its unique collection of Lawrence Hargrave material. An Anglo-Australian, Hargrave was a l9th century aeronautics pioneer whose fame largely rests on his invention of the box kite in l893.

The Hargrave material was given to the society in l921 by his widow and consists of a large number of notebooks, papers, negatives and lantern slides. Upon receipt of the gift, the society expressed its desire to carefully go through the material “with a view to the extraction of any data which should be put on historical record and which has not been previously published.”

The collection consists of 71 original manuscript letters in Hargrave’s hand; more than 100 contemporary letters by his associates such as G. Crosland Taylor and S.H.R. Salmon; 70 original glass plate negatives; two large photographic albums; Hargrave’s original lantern slides; as well as the author’s copies of his various papers published by the Royal Society of New South Wales.