Articles

Although digital technology and access is changing the use of our written world, we were proud to start our communication through the Journal. This wonderful “printed” blog approach came mostly from the editorial direction and pen of Scott Skinner, Ali Fujino, and our man in the field, Ben Ruhe. From years of Journal publications, we changed the format to be not a few individuals' view but to have individuals of the kite community use their own words to bring forth something innovative and exciting about the world of kites. Enter the current edited version of Discourse by Katie Davis, Scott Skinner, and Ali Fujino. Below are archived articles from both the Journal and Discourse.

Most Recent Articles

  • Historical kites are cross-cultural phenomena. They represent science, civil and military use – photography, anthropology, arts, religion, joy and playtime. This makes them interesting for historical research and, of course, collecting. In this article, I will share some of my insights on different aspects of historical kites, and in the second half I will present a first version of a Code of Conduct.
  • Encouraged by a modest Drachen Foundation grant, historical kite enthusiasts Frank and Dorte Schulz, of Buxtehude, Germany, began researching early Scandinavian utilitarian kite – kites used for meteorological, military and amusement purposes. They planned to combine their love of Scandinavian holidays with a bit of scholarly study, Frank’s long-time interest.
  • A stint in Texas while on active duty with the German air force got Ulli Draheim turned on to things American, so when he later took up collecting old, historic kites he naturally turned to Gibson Girl kites and Paul Garber target kites from the World War II period.
  • A student of early historical kites, Jan Westerink of Zutphen, Holland, was searching patent databases when he found a design by Matthew B. Sellers, an American flight pioneer, that caught his fancy. The kite has wings like a glider and an eye-catching tubular tail. It was patented in 1908, meaning its 100th anniversary was due this year. Westerink, a former industrial designer turned handicraft teacher who has built replicas of several dozen largely unknown kites from the first half of the last century, decided to build this one.
  • A busy Lake Constance ferry port in the south of Germany, Friedrichshafen is inextricably linked to the stately Zeppelins built and flown there for the last century. The link to inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin remains strong. Throughout the city, streets, schools, cafes, even a dress shop are named for him. A children’s slide near the sprawling waterfront Zeppelin Museum is shaped like an airship.