1903: Alexander Graham Bell kissing his wife in a tetrahedral kite
October 16th 1903: Alexander Graham Bell kissing his wife Mabel Hubbard Gardiner Bell, who is standing in a tetrahedral kite, Baddeck, Nova Scotia
Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell is well-known for patenting the telephone. For Bell, however, the success of this invention was a mere distraction from his true calling to science, and his interests extended across a vast range of scientific fields.
Bell’s experiments in the area of powered heavier-than-air flight began in earnest in 1891, and toward the end of the 1890s, he turned his experiments to tetrahedral box kites - each cell in the compound structural kite providing lift to the whole. Bell’s kits used crimson silk as a surface over spruce pine dowels.
The kites were named Cygnet I, II and III. All flew with and without a passenger. Cygnet III, with more than 3,000 individual cells, flew successfully when towed by a steamship, though it was wrecked on landing. Its passenger, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, survived, but became the first person to be killed in a powered flight, as a passenger for the Wright Brothers.
Bell was 56 when this picture was taken and Mabel Bell was 46. Her father was first president of the Bell Telephone Company. Mabel’s hearing had been destroyed by scarlet fever at the age of five - a significant factor in directing her husband’s activity.
Limited edition print run of 100 pieces
Supplied with Paper Time Machine certificate of authenticity to provide limited edition provenance
Hand printed in the UK, global shipping available
Dimensions: 30 x 40cm including border for easy framing
Presented on premium Fuji photographic paper
C-type Fuji Crystal archive paper with a semi-matt finish. The paper is coated with a slightly stippled texture giving a very natural photographic finish with subtle colour