Kites at the Smithsonian

Ben Ruhe
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As the premier aeronautics and astronautics repository in the world, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., predictably has a wonderful kite collection.

Tom Crouch, chairman of the Department of Aeronautics, surveyed and reported on the holding after assuming his new job a few years ago.

Western kites of technical and historical significance at the Air and Space Museum include a Sir George Cayley reproduction, a refurbished Charles Duryea original from the 1870s, a reproduction of the Benjamin Franklin "electric" kite, a William Eddy tailless Malay-style reproduction, a reproduction of the Wright brothers' 1899 kite, and an original Perkins man-lifter.

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