By Francis Edward Abernethy

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The electricity flowed down the wet kite string to a suspended key. When the grounded Franklin held his finger near the key, a spark jumped. Fortunately, the charge was light enough to satisfy Franklin's curiosity about the nature of electricity without killing him. In 1910 a train of ten kites reached an American record height of 23,385 feet, and in 1919 in Lindenberg, Germany, a train of eight kites set a world record of 31,955 feet. Airplanesand the Wrights began their invention by flying kitesand balloons have now taken the place of kites in atmospheric exploration (see World Book Encyclopedia, "kites").

The other was to tie a rope onto the 2 × 4 near each front wheel and pull on the rope in the direction of the turn. About the only means of locomotion was to have someone push you. Or you could get up on a hill and let gravity do the work. Of course, you had to push the cart up on top of the hill in the first place. One such hill was Bloomer's Hill, on the back of Mr. Bloomer's pasture, by Post Oak Creek, east of the old Highway 75 south of Sherman. The area was covered with trees, but a trail had been cut up the long axis of the hill.

I was very happy with the simple two-stick kite that I made from anything handy and that was covered with newspaper. It was heavy, usually unbalanced, and required optimum wind conditions to make a decent showing. Three-stick kites of varying sizes, sometimes bought though usually made, were popular and flew with more stability on less tail than two-stickers. Periodically someone would show up with a box kite that his father had helped him build, and we all would admire its complexity and give it our full attention and let it have the sky to itself.

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