17 May 2003

Re: A child's book

Anybody who survived flying the 'electric kite' would be the right stuff to face the Luftwaffe!
From: "jim wishart"
Date: 2003/05/15 Thu PM 07:21:38 GMT
To: "peter symonds, winchester, unofficial nostalgia corner"
Subject: Re: A child's book


New Message on peter symonds, winchester, unofficial nostalgia corner

From: jim wishart
Message 3 in Discussion

I have now had a chance to browse the BOP annual and it has been really enjoyable. The articles are so evocative of the age, the twenties. Here are a couple of instances.
There was a 'Hobbies' page. November 1922 had a design for a pump for a model steamer. It started-
"Those boys who possess a model steam-boat, or who contemplate making one, will be a trifle bothered about the business of a pump, no doubt. It is a well-built model steamer that does not leak at the propellor shaft, and no matter how well built, if the weather is rough, the boat is bound to take a quantity of water aboard.....
....to the boy who knows how an oscillating cylinder works, the picture will explain itself. To others, a little explanation is needed....
[Well, even after sixty years, the picture doesn't explain itself and the further explanation is quite dense! I suppose what I am saying is that maybe we expected more of our teenagers in the twenties?] Another item in the same hobbies section included an article on 'Making an electric kite'.
It starts- "Would you like to possess an 'electric kite, or in other words, make yourself a kite capable of flying to a considerable height and drawing down to the earth the free electricity from the atmosphere in visible form, so that it can be seen flashing and sparkling like a miniature lightning storm? It is very readily done, and forms a most amusing and instructive thing..."
It goes on in several paragraphs to describe the venture and then finally, maybe after the editor has seen the contribution at a late stage says
"Simple and easy as this sounds, you must be careful in flying such a kite-- particularly in thundery weather. At all times, the string ought to be passed over an iron or metal railing after leaving the hand, and it should never knowingly be flown when thunder is near"
Times change don't they?



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