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Kites have been used to harness the wind for more than 2,000 years. It's believed they were first developed in China.

In 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducted the most famous and perhaps most dangerous kite experiment in history. He proved that lightning is electricity by using a kite as a conductor during a storm.

George Pocock is recorded as the first person to use a kite to fly. Riding inside a carriage secured to a patented, four-line controllable kite system, Pocock took off from a road in Bristol, England more than 170 years ago.

In 1847a kite was used to pass the first cable across the Niagara River for the building of a bridge for the City of Niagara Falls.

It is a lesser-known fact Leonardo da Vinci had devised the use of kites to help in bridge construction hundreds of years earlier.

It is believed that the Chinese may have used kites to carry people over 1000 years ago.

From the mid 1800s kites were used to rescue people from shipwrecks close to shore, using onshore winds.

Samuel Franklin Cody patented a kite system in 1909 that could be used as a man-lifting system.  It consisted of a string of small kites that served as a sky-anchor connected to a larger man-lifting kite. Pulleys allowed a pilot to operate the contraption. In 1903 Cody also crossed the English Channel in a boat drawn by kites.

The Wright brothers used kites to test their ideas before producing their first airplane in 1903. Alexander Graham Bell also produced a manned flying machine. In 1908, five years after the Wright brother's maiden flight, Bell was the first to fly the skies over Canada.

Kites fitted with instruments have been used to study the weather in modern times but they are used mainly for leisure in today’s society. Kite-surfers and kite-buggies have recently arrived on the scene and are using new powerful and controllable traction kites. Expect to see their use in various applications in the future.

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