History Of Kites
The History of Kites started in China!
The history of kites dates back 3000 years to ancient China where they were first recorded to have been created. Since their early days, there has been a constant change to their structure and design although most of it has been extremely minor alterations to the material and shape however throughout the history of kites, there has been almost no change to them. Be it Chinese, Japanese or the giant Malaysian kites, the history of kites has been as diverse and colourful as the kites themselves.
It all began in China when the military devised these aircraft mainly to serve a variety of purposes. A general in the Han Dynasty was known to use kites to determine the distance between their standing point and enemy palaces to determine how long a tunnel they had to dig to get inside. Observers and fireworks were lifted up to get a better look at the enemy as well as scare them respectively. These uses, although only for military, were a significant part of the history of kites.
With time, kites began to be used by civilians as well although throughout the history of kites, their practical usage has been quite limited. In Japan and China, villagers began using kites as a novel way of fishing. Kites would carry the fishing line over otherwise unreachable fishing spots and once hooked, the fish would be picked out of the water by raising the kite. This form of fishing was also known to be prevalent in New Zealand.
While throughout the history of kites, they have been used quite regularly as toys, they were also used as replacements for scarecrows by flying them over fields as well as raising construction material on to the top of buildings. In Thailand, kites were flown during excess rains to prevent rains from flooding the fields and destroying the crops. This was mainly used as a form of worship to the gods to continue monsoon winds for longer, so as to move the rain clouds away without flooding.
In the history of kites, there is mostly illustrated or documented evidence of the usage as kites. Due to their bio-degradable materials, there was hardly any physical evidence available although many tools were found, which could be used to make kites.
With time, their influence spread to Europe and the Americas and kites became a regular tool for research in various areas, primarily in weather and geographical conditions. Thermometers were tied to them to measure the air temperature at high altitudes and in different weather conditions. A noted American scientist, Benjamin Franklin was known to have flown a kite in a lightning storm to prove that clouds carried electrical charge. However, contrary to popular belief, Franklin never really went on to perform the experiment as there was a possibility that the electric charge would have resulted in his death. The theory was proved later by a French scientist who used a light pole connected to the earth instead.
Thereafter, throughout the history of kites, there are many other uses of kites that were registered although there is no documented usage of these techniques. One of the known theories was to tether large kites with a strong rope to ships, in order to use them as a sail for the ships. However the project probably never went through because of the lack of a decent enough rope for the process or even a large enough kite.
The history of kites has also seen a major difference in the materials used to make them. While in the initial days in China, Silk was used as the material for their cover along with bamboo sticks controlled by a silk thread, things have changed a lot. Today you get kites made of ripstop polyester that's built to last. Smaller kites are made of paper and even tissue paper in some cases while in some areas, they have been made mainly from locally abundant material such as leaves even.
There were other attempts at moving carriages and people with kites but they never really took shape. Today, kites are used mainly as toys for children and adults alike as they look to celebrate festivals by flying kites. Kites are something that have undergone very little change through the ages and the history of kites is as exciting and interesting as flying one.