Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet was an English polymath, astronomer, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, did botanical work. Herschel originated the use of the Julian day system in astronomy, he named four moons of Uranus. He made many contributions to the science of photography, investigated colour blindness and the chemical power of ultraviolet rays. Herschel was born in Slough, the son of Mary Baldwin and William Herschel, he was the nephew of astronomer Caroline Herschel. He studied shortly at Eton College and St John's College, graduating as Senior Wrangler in 1813, it was during his time as an undergraduate that he became friends with the mathematicians Charles Babbage and George Peacock. He started working with his father, he took up astronomy in 1816, building a reflecting telescope with a mirror 18 inches in diameter, with a 20-foot focal length. Between 1821 and 1823 he re-examined, with the double stars catalogued by his father, he was one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1820.
For his work with his father, he was presented with the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1826, with the Lalande Medal of the French Academy of Sciences in 1825, while in 1821 the Royal Society bestowed upon him the Copley Medal for his mathematical contributions to their Transactions. Herschel was made a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order in 1831. Herschel served as President of the Royal Astronomical Society three times: 1827–29, 1839–41 and 1847–49. Herschel's A preliminary discourse on the study of natural philosophy, published early in 1831 as part of Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet cyclopædia, set out methods of scientific investigation with an orderly relationship between observation and theorising, he described nature as being governed by laws which were difficult to discern or to state mathematically, the highest aim of natural philosophy was understanding these laws through inductive reasoning, finding a single unifying explanation for a phenomenon. This became an authoritative statement with wide influence on science at the University of Cambridge where it inspired the student Charles Darwin with "a burning zeal" to contribute to this work.
Herschel published a catalogue of his astronomical observations in 1864, as the General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters, a compilation of his own work and that of his father's, expanding on the senior Herschel's Catalogue of Nebulae. A further complementary volume was published posthumously, as the General Catalogue of 10,300 Multiple and Double Stars. Herschel considered astigmatism to be due to irregularity of the cornea and theorised that vision could be improved by the application of some animal jelly contained in a capsule of glass against the cornea, his views were published in an article entitled Light in 1828 and the Encyclopædia Metropolitana in 1845. Discoveries of Herschel include the galaxies NGC 7, NGC 10, NGC 25, NGC 28 Declining an offer from the Duke of Sussex that they travel to South Africa on a Navy ship and his wife paid £500 for passage on the S. S. Mountstuart Elphinstone, which departed from Portsmouth on 13 November 1833; the voyage to South Africa was made in order to catalogue the stars and other objects of the southern skies.
This was to be a completion as well as extension of the survey of the northern heavens undertaken by his father William Herschel. He arrived in Cape Town on 15 January 1834 and set up a private 21 ft telescope at Feldhausen at Claremont, a suburb of Cape Town. Amongst his other observations during this time was that of the return of Comet Halley. Herschel collaborated with Thomas Maclear, the Astronomer Royal at the Cape of Good Hope and the members of the two families became close friends. During this time, he witnessed the Great Eruption of Eta Carinae. In addition to his astronomical work, this voyage to a far corner of the British empire gave Herschel an escape from the pressures under which he found himself in London, where he was one of the most sought-after of all British men of science. While in southern Africa, he engaged in a broad variety of scientific pursuits free from a sense of strong obligations to a larger scientific community, it was, he recalled the happiest time in his life.
In an extraordinary departure from astronomy, Herschel combined his talents with those of his wife and between 1834 and 1838 they produced 131 botanical illustrations of fine quality, showing the Cape flora. Herschel used a camera lucida to obtain accurate outlines of the specimens and left the details to his wife. Though their portfolio had been intended as a personal record, despite the lack of floral dissections in the paintings, their accurate rendition makes them more valuable than many contemporary collections; some 112 of the 132 known flower studies were collected and published as Flora Herscheliana in 1996. As their home during their stay in the Cape, the Herschels had selected'Feldhausen', an old estate on the south-eastern side of Table Mountain. Here John set up his reflector to begin his survey of the southern skies. Herschel, at the same time, read widely. Intrigued by the ideas of gradual formation of landscapes set out in Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, he wrote to Lyell on 20 February 1836 praising the book as a work that would bring "a complete revolution in subject, by alterin
The King's Observatory is a Grade I listed building in Richmond, London. Now a private dwelling, it housed an astronomical and terrestrial magnetic observatory founded by King George III; the architect was Sir William Chambers. The observatory and its grounds are located within the grounds of the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club, part of the Old Deer Park of the former Richmond Palace in Richmond in Surrey and now in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; the former royal manor of Kew lies to the immediate north. The observatory grounds overlie to the south the site of the former Sheen Priory, the Carthusian monastery established by King Henry V in 1414; the observatory is not publicly accessible, obscuring woodlands mean that it cannot be viewed from outside the golf course, not open to the general public. Directors of the observatory included Stephen Demainbray, Francis Ronalds, John Welsh, Balfour Stewart, Francis John Welsh Whipple, Charles Chree, George Clarke Simpson; the observatory was completed in 1769, in time for King George III's observation of the transit of Venus that occurred on 3 June in that year.
In 1842, the by empty building was taken on by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and became known as the Kew Observatory. Francis Ronalds was the inaugural Honorary Director for the next decade and founded the observatory's enduring reputation. Responsibility for the facility was transferred to the Royal Society in 1871; the National Physical Laboratory was established there in 1900 and from 1910 it housed the Meteorological Office. The Met Office closed the observatory in 1980; the geomagnetic instruments had been relocated to Eskdalemuir Observatory in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland in 1908 after the advent of electrification in London led to interference with their operations. A contemporary report by Stephen Demainbray, the superintendent of the observatory, says: "His Majesty the King who made his observation with a Shorts reflecting telescope, magnifying Diameters 170 Times, was the first to view the Penumbra of Venus touching the Edge of the Sun's Disk; the exact mean time was attended to by Stephen Demainbray, appointed to take exact time by Shelton's Regulator regulated by several astronomical observations."
Francis Ronalds invented many meteorological and electrical instruments at Kew, which saw long-term use around the world. These included the first successful cameras in 1845 to record the variations of parameters such as atmospheric pressure, humidity, atmospheric electricity and geomagnetism through the day and night, his photo-barograph was used by Robert Fitzroy from 1862 in making the UK's first official weather forecasts at the Meteorological Office. The network of observing stations set-up in 1867 by the Met Office to assist in understanding the weather was equipped with his cameras – some of these remained in use at Kew until the observatory's closure in 1980. Ronalds established a sophisticated atmospheric electricity observing system at Kew with a long copper rod protruding through the dome of the observatory and a suite of novel electrometers and electrographs to manually record the data, he supplied this equipment to facilities in England, France, Italy and the Arctic with the goal of delineating atmospheric electricity on a global scale.
At Kew, two-hourly data was recorded in the Reports of the British Association between 1844 and 1847. An new system, providing continuous automatic recording, was installed by Lord Kelvin in the early 1860s; this device, based on Kelvin's water dropper potential equaliser with photographic recording, was known as the Kew electrograph. It provided the backbone of a long and continuous series of potential gradient measurements which finished in 1980. A secondary system of measurement, operating on different principles, was designed and implemented by the Nobel laureate CTR Wilson, from which records begin in 1906 until the closure of the Observatory; these measurements, which complement those of the Kelvin electrograph, were made on fine days at 1500 GMT. Beyond their applications in atmospheric electricity, the electrograph and Wilson apparatus have been shown to be useful for reconstructing past air pollution changes. In the early 1850s, the facility began performing a role in assessing and rating barometers, chronometers, watches and other scientific instruments for accuracy.
An instrument which passed the tests was awarded a hallmark of excellence. As marine navigation adopted the use of mechanical timepieces, their accuracy became more important; the need for precision resulted in the development of a testing regime involving various astronomical observatories. In Europe, the observatories at Neuchatel, Geneva and Kew were examples of prominent observatories that tested timepiece movements for accuracy; the testing process lasted for many days 45. Each movement was tested in five positions and two temperatures, in ten series of four or five days each; the tolerances for error were much finer than any other standard, including the modern COSC standard. Movements that passed the stringent tests were issued a certification from the observatory called a Bulletin de Marche, signed by the directeur of the observatory; the Bulletin de Marche stated the actual performance of the movement. A movement with a Bulletin de March
The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth and is Earth's only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits; the Moon is after Jupiter's satellite Io the second-densest satellite in the Solar System among those whose densities are known. The Moon is thought to have formed not long after Earth; the most accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia. The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, thus always shows the same side to Earth, the near side; the near side is marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. After the Sun, the Moon is the second-brightest visible celestial object in Earth's sky, its surface is dark, although compared to the night sky it appears bright, with a reflectance just higher than that of worn asphalt.
Its gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon's average orbital distance is 1.28 light-seconds. This is about thirty times the diameter of Earth; the Moon's apparent size in the sky is the same as that of the Sun, since the star is about 400 times the lunar distance and diameter. Therefore, the Moon covers the Sun nearly during a total solar eclipse; this matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future because the Moon's distance from Earth is increasing. The Moon was first reached in September 1959 by an unmanned spacecraft; the United States' NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned lunar missions to date, beginning with the first manned orbital mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, six manned landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. These missions returned lunar rocks which have been used to develop a geological understanding of the Moon's origin, internal structure, the Moon's history. Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, the Moon has been visited only by unmanned spacecraft.
Both the Moon's natural prominence in the earthly sky and its regular cycle of phases as seen from Earth have provided cultural references and influences for human societies and cultures since time immemorial. Such cultural influences can be found in language, lunar calendar systems and mythology; the usual English proper name for Earth's natural satellite is "the Moon", which in nonscientific texts is not capitalized. The noun moon is derived from Old English mōna, which stems from Proto-Germanic *mēnô, which comes from Proto-Indo-European *mḗh₁n̥s "moon", "month", which comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *meh₁- "to measure", the month being the ancient unit of time measured by the Moon; the name "Luna" is used. In literature science fiction, "Luna" is used to distinguish it from other moons, while in poetry, the name has been used to denote personification of Earth's moon; the modern English adjective pertaining to the Moon is lunar, derived from the Latin word for the Moon, luna. The adjective selenic is so used to refer to the Moon that this meaning is not recorded in most major dictionaries.
It is derived from the Ancient Greek word for the Moon, σελήνη, from, however derived the prefix "seleno-", as in selenography, the study of the physical features of the Moon, as well as the element name selenium. Both the Greek goddess Selene and the Roman goddess Diana were alternatively called Cynthia; the names Luna and Selene are reflected in terminology for lunar orbits in words such as apolune and selenocentric. The name Diana comes from the Proto-Indo-European *diw-yo, "heavenly", which comes from the PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," which in many derivatives means "sky and god" and is the origin of Latin dies, "day"; the Moon formed 4.51 billion years ago, some 60 million years after the origin of the Solar System. Several forming mechanisms have been proposed, including the fission of the Moon from Earth's crust through centrifugal force, the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon, the co-formation of Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk; these hypotheses cannot account for the high angular momentum of the Earth–Moon system.
The prevailing hypothesis is that the Earth–Moon system formed after an impact of a Mars-sized body with the proto-Earth. The impact blasted material into Earth's orbit and the material accreted and formed the Moon; the Moon's far side has a crust, 30 mi thicker than that of the near side. This is thought to be; this hypothesis, although not perfect best explains the evidence. Eighteen months prior to an October 1984 conference on lunar origins, Bill Hartmann, Roger Phillips, Jeff Taylor challenged fellow lunar scientists: "You have eighteen months. Go back to your Apollo data, go back to your computer, do whatever you have to, but make up your mind. Don't come to our conference unless you have something to say about the Moon's birth." At the 1984 conference at Kona, the giant impact hypothesis emerged as the most consensual theory. Before the conference, there were parti
Sir Francis Ronalds FRS was an English scientist and inventor, arguably the first electrical engineer. He was knighted for creating the first electric telegraph over a substantial distance. In 1816 he laid eight miles of iron wire between wooden frames in his garden and sent pulses using electrostatic generators. Others like Francisco Salva Campillo in 1804 or Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring in 1809 built telegraphs but with lengths of only 0.4 - 2.2 miles. Born to merchants Francis Ronalds and Jane at their cheese-monger business in Upper Thames Street, London, he attended Unitarian minister Eliezer Cogan's school before being apprenticed to his father at the age of 14 through the Drapers' Company, he ran the large business for some years. The family resided in Canonbury Place and Highbury Terrace, both in Islington, at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, Queen Square in Bloomsbury, at Croydon, on Chiswick Lane. Several of Ronalds' eleven brothers and sisters led noteworthy lives, his youngest brother Alfred authored the classic book The Fly-fisher's Entomology before migrating to Australia and their brother Hugh was one of the founders of the city of Albion in the American Midwest.
His sisters married Samuel Carter – a railway solicitor and MP – and sugar-refiner Peter Martineau, the son of Peter Finch Martineau. Another sister Emily epitomised the family's interest in social reform through her collaborations with early socialists Robert Owen and Fanny Wright. Nurseryman Hugh Ronalds was his uncle, his nephews included chemistry professor Edmund Ronalds, artist Hugh Carter, timber merchant and benefactor James Montgomrey. Thomas Field Gibson, a Royal Commissioner for the Great Exhibition of 1851, was one of his cousins. Ronalds was conducting electrical experiments by 1810: those on atmospheric electricity were outlined in George Singer's text Elements of Electricity and Electro-Chemistry, he published his first papers in the Philosophical Magazine in 1814 on the properties of the dry pile, a form of battery that his mentor Jean-André Deluc helped to develop. The next year he described the first electric clock. Other inventions in this early period included an electrograph to record variations in atmospheric electricity through the day.
He was already creating what would become the renowned Ronalds Library of electrical books and managing his collection with the first practical card catalogue. His theoretical contributions included an early delineation of the parameters now known as electromotive force and current. Ronalds' most remembered work today is the electric telegraph he created at the age of 28, he established that electrical signals could be transmitted over large distances with eight miles of iron wire strung on insulators on his lawn. He found. Foreshadowing both a future electrical age and mass communication, he wrote:electricity, may be employed for a more useful purpose than the gratification of the philosopher's inquisitive research… it may be compelled to travel… many hundred miles beneath our feet… and… be productive of… much public and private benefit… why… add to the torments of absence those dilatory tormentors, ink and posts? Let us have electrical conversazione offices, communicating with each other all over the kingdom… give me materiel enough, I will electrify the world.
He complemented his vision with a working telegraph system built in and under the family's garden at Hammersmith. It was infamously rejected on 5 August 1816 by Sir John Barrow, Secretary at the Admiralty, as being "wholly unnecessary". Commercialisation of the telegraph only began two decades in the UK, led by William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, who both had links to Ronalds' earlier work; the period 1818 -- 20 was Ronalds' "Grand Tour" to the Near East. Embarking on his trip alone, he met up with numerous people along the way, including his friend Sir Frederick Henniker, archaeologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni, artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri, merchant Walter Stevenson Davidson, Revd George Waddington, Italian numismatist it:Giulio Cordero di San Quintino and Spanish geologist es:Carlos de Gimbernat. Ronalds' travel journal and sketches have been published on the web. On his return, he published his atmospheric electricity observations made in Palermo and near the erupting crater of Vesuvius.
Ronalds next focused on design. Two surveying tools he designed and used to aid the production of survey plans were a modified surveyor's wheel that recorded distances travelled in graphical form and a double-reflecting sector to draw the angular separation of distant objects, he invented a forerunner to the fire finder patented in 1915 to pinpoint the location of a fire and various accessories for the lathe. Some of these devices were manufactured for sale by toolmaker Holtzapffel. There is some evidence to suggest that he assisted Charles Holtzapffel in the early stages of preparing the Holtzapffel family's renowned treatise on turning. On 23 March 1825, he patented two drawing instruments for producing perspective sketches; the first produced a perspective view of an object directly from drawings of the plan and elevations. The second machine enabled a scene or person to be traced from life onto paper with considerable
American Philosophical Society
The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 and located in Philadelphia, is an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, library resources, community outreach. Considered the first learned society in the United States, it has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for over 270 years. Through research grants, published journals, the American Philosophical Society Museum, an extensive library, regular meetings, the society continues to advance a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the sciences. Philosophical Hall, now a museum, is located just east of Independence Hall in Independence National Historical Park; the Philosophical Society, as it was called, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, James Alexander, Francis Hopkinson, John Bartram, Philip Syng, Jr. and others as an offshoot of an earlier club, the Junto.
It was founded two years after the University of Pennsylvania, with which it remains tied. Since its inception, the society attracted America's finest minds. Early members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James McHenry, Thomas Paine, David Rittenhouse, Nicholas Biddle, Owen Biddle, Benjamin Rush, James Madison, Michael Hillegas, John Marshall, John Andrews; the society recruited members from other countries, including Alexander von Humboldt, the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Princess Dashkova. By 1746 the society had lapsed into inactivity. In 1767, however, it was revived, on January 2, 1769, it united with the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge under the name American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge. Benjamin Franklin was elected the first president. During this time, the society maintained a standing Committee on American Improvements; the canal, proposed by Thomas Gilpin, Sr. would not become reality until the 1820s.
After the American Revolution, the society looked for leadership to Francis Hopkinson, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Under his influence, the society received land from the government of Pennsylvania, along with a plot of land in Philadelphia where Philosophical Hall now stands. Illustrious names have continually been added to the membership roster, reflecting the society's scope. Charles Darwin, Robert Frost, Louis Pasteur, Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, John James Audubon, Linus Pauling, Margaret Mead, Maria Mitchell, Thomas Edison became members of the society; the society continues to attract names of high renown today, with a current membership list of 920 members, including 772 resident members and 148 foreign members representing more than two dozen countries. Many members of the Society of the Cincinnati were among the APS's first board members and contributors. In 1786, the society established the Magellanic Premium, a prize for achievement in "navigation, astronomy, or natural philosophy," the oldest scientific prize awarded by an American institution, which it still awards.
Other awards include the Barzun Prize for cultural history, Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Investigation, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, the Lashley Award for neurobiology, the Lewis Award, the Thomas Jefferson Medal for distinguished achievement in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. The APS has published the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society since 1771. Five issues appear each year; the Proceedings have appeared since 1838: they publish the papers delivered at the biannual meetings of the society. The society has published the collected papers of Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Henry, William Penn, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Jane Aitken bound some 400 volumes for the society. Philosophical Hall, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 104 South Fifth Street, between Chestnut and Walnut Streets south of Old City Hall, was built in 1785–89 to house the society and was designed by Samuel Vaughan in the Federal style. A third floor was added in 1890, to accommodate the expanding library, but was removed in 1948–50 when the building was restored to its original appearance for the creation of Independence National Historical Park.
In 2001, it was opened to the public as The American Philosophical Society Museum, hosting revolving, thematic exhibitions that explore the intersections of history and science. The museum features works of art, scientific instruments, original manuscripts, rare books, natural history specimens, curiosities of all kinds from the APS's own collections, along with objects on loan from other institutions. In 1789–90, the Library Company of Philadelphia built its headquarters directly across 5th Street from APS. LCP sold its building in 1884, demolished for the expansion of the Drexel & Company Building in 1887; this building itself was demolished in the mid-1950s, during the creation of Independence National Historical Park. APS built a library on the site in 1958, recreated the facade of the old LCP building. According to historical ghost stories, Benjamin Franklin's spirit haunts the library, his statue at the front of the building "comes to life and dances in the streets." APS restored the former Farmers' & Mechanics' Bank building at 425–29 Chestnut Street, built in 1854–
A kite is a tethered heavier-than-air craft with wing surfaces that react against the air to create lift and drag. A kite consists of wings and anchors. Kites have a bridle and tail to guide the face of the kite so the wind can lift it; some kite designs don’t need a bridle. A kite may have fixed or moving anchors. One technical definition is that a kite is “a collection of tether-coupled wing sets“; the lift that sustains the kite in flight is generated when air moves around the kite's surface, producing low pressure above and high pressure below the wings. The interaction with the wind generates horizontal drag along the direction of the wind; the resultant force vector from the lift and drag force components is opposed by the tension of one or more of the lines or tethers to which the kite is attached. The anchor point of the kite line may be moving; the same principles of fluid flow apply in liquids, so kites can be used in underwater currents, but there are no everyday uses as yet. Man-lifting kites were made for reconnaissance and during development of the first practical aircraft, the biplane.
Kites have a long and varied history and many different types are flown individually and at festivals worldwide. Kites may be flown for art or other practical uses. Sport kites can be flown in aerial ballet, sometimes as part of a competition. Power kites are multi-line steerable kites designed to generate large forces which can be used to power activities such as kite surfing, kite landboarding, kite fishing, kite buggying and snow kiting. Kites were invented in Asia. Many early sources point to China. In China, materials ideal for kite building were available including silk fabric for sail material; the kite has been claimed as the invention of the 5th-century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban. By 549 AD paper kites were being flown, as it was recorded that in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources describe kites being used for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men and communication for military operations; the earliest known Chinese kites were flat and rectangular.
Tailless kites incorporated a stabilizing bowline. Kites were decorated with legendary figures. After its introduction into India, the kite further evolved into the fighter kite, known as the patang in India, where thousands are flown every year on festivals such as Makar Sankranti. Kites were known throughout Polynesia, as far as New Zealand, with the assumption being that the knowledge diffused from China along with the people. Anthropomorphic kites made from cloth and wood were used in religious ceremonies to send prayers to the gods. Polynesian kite traditions are used by anthropologists to get an idea of early "primitive" Asian traditions that are believed to have at one time existed in Asia. Kites were late to arrive in Europe, although windsock-like banners were known and used by the Romans. Stories of kites were first brought to Europe by Marco Polo towards the end of the 13th century, kites were brought back by sailors from Japan and Malaysia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Konrad Kyeser described dragon kites in Bellifortis about 1400 AD.
Although kites were regarded as mere curiosities, by the 18th and 19th centuries they were being used as vehicles for scientific research. In 1752 Benjamin Franklin published an account of a kite experiment to prove that lightning was caused by electricity. Kites were instrumental in the research of the Wright brothers, others, as they developed the first airplane in the late 1800s. Several different designs of man-lifting kites were developed; the period from 1860 to about 1910 became the "golden age of kiting". In the 20th century many new kite designs were developed; these included Eddy's tailless diamond, the tetrahedral kite, the Rogallo wing, the sled kite, the parafoil, power kites. Kites were used for scientific purposes in meteorology, wireless communications and photography; the Rogallo wing was adapted for stunt kites and hang gliding and the parafoil was adapted for parachuting and paragliding. The rapid development of mechanically powered aircraft diminished interest in kites. World War II saw a limited use of kites for military purposes.
Kites are now used for recreation. Lightweight synthetic materials are used for kite making. Synthetic rope and cord are used as kite line. Designs emulate flying insects and other beasts, both real and mythical; the finest Chinese kites are made from split bamboo, covered with silk, hand painted. On larger kites, clever hinges and latches allow the kite to be disassembled and compactly folded for storage or transport. Cheaper mass-produced kites are made from printed polyester rather than silk. Tails are used for some single-line kite designs to keep the kite's nose pointing into the wind. Spinners and spinsocks can be attached to the flying line for visual effect. There are rotating wind socks. On large display kites these tai