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 Lawrence Hargrave

Lawrence Hargrave

Birth
Greenwich, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Greater London, England
Death 6 Jul 1915 (aged 65)
Bronte, Waverley Council, New South Wales, Australia
Burial Bronte, Waverley Council, New South Wales, Australia
Plot Section 9, 1117
Memorial ID 8741 · View Source
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Aeronautical pioneer. Born in Greenwich, England, the son of Ann and John Fletcher Hargrave. In 1856, his father and elder brother moved to Australia. Nine years later, he joined them there. In 1867, was apprenticed an an engineer at the Australasian Steam Navigation Company, working as a draftsman. In 1872, he joined a prospecting expedition to New Guinea, their brig, however, struck a reef and sank with loss of life. In 1878, he took a position as an assistant astronomical observer at Sydney Observatory, a post which he held until 1883. By 1882, he was making meticulous studies of the flight of birds and insects. He constructed several monoplane models between 1884 and 1892. He confirmed the superior lift exhibited by cambered wings, and began experimenting with kites. Research convinced him that cellular kites, now better known as box kites, had greater stability and lift than monoplanes. He invented the first working box kite. In November 1894, he created a four kite construction which he tethered to the ground, it successfully lifted him sixteen feet off a beach in New South Wales. When the first European aircraft were later built, they used a Hargrave style box kite construction for their support surface. He experimented for years with an engine design that would be light and powerful enough to get a flying machine into the air, but was never successful. In 1909, he became the first vice-president of the New South Wales Aerial League of Australia. He published all his theoretical work and the results of all his experiments in the “Journal and Proceedings” of the Royal Society of New South Wales, he did not believe in patents, thinking such work should be available for all to use. In 1915, shortly after his only son was killed in action at Gallipoli, he went into a sharp decline. He died as a result of peritonitis following an appendicitis operation. His face, framed by his aeronautical drawings, was seen on the old style Australian $20 note, circulated from 1966 to 1994. His surviving models are now housed in the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, Australia.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 7 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8741
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lawrence Hargrave (29 Jan 1850–6 Jul 1915), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8741, citing Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, Waverley Council, New South Wales, Australia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .