© by Mrs.Jean Roberts
1899, 4-8 April Her Majesty's Theatre in Lowther
Street Carlisle. During the first night's performance the curtain
had to be run down because the bridge support had collapsed. During
his stay in Carlisle, Cody gave an exhibition of his kites in the grounds
of Houghton House, the home of Henry Brooks Broadhurst at the invitation
of the Rev. Sidney Swann. The kites were .... ‘of immense size and
square shaped, sent up tandem fashion one after another on strong steel
piano wire. The third or fourth kite had a seat slung from it in
which a man sat. He was taken up several hundred feet. ... One of
the upper kites broke away and went soaring over towards Carlisle with
its wire trailing after it.’
7 - 12 Aug Elephant and Castle Theatre 'The Klondyke Nugget'. Mr. Charles Freeman engaged as manager.
14 - 19 Aug Royal County Theatre, Reading.
21 - 26 Aug Theatre Royal, Bath.
28 - 2 Sept Theatre Royal, Gloucester.
4 - 9 Sept Royalty Theatre, Llanelly.
11 - 16 Sept Grand Theatre, Cardiff.
18 - 23 Sept Queen’s Theatre, Birmingham.
25 - 30 Sept Lycium, Crewe.
9 - 13 Oct St. Helens Theatre Royal and Opera House. Whilst there, in the early hours of the Friday morning (13th?) fire destroyed the theatre and all the properties belonging to the play. In the early stages of the fire Cody attempted to save some of his property but managed only to rescue one box. The disaster cost Cody £2000. Cody's kites and apparatus were also burnt plus tools. No further kite experiments could take place until August 1900.
16 - 21 Oct New Brighton Tower. Performed in Cycle versus Horse Variety Tournament.
23 - 28 Oct Star Theatre Liverpool. Cody billed as ‘Captain Cody.’
30 - 4 Nov Theatre Royal, Shrewsbury. Theatre Royal, Wednesbury.?
6 - 11 Nov New Theatre, Ilkeston.
Dec. Royal Theatre, Macclesfield.
1900, 31 Mar Theatre Royal Chesterfield.
Aug Walter Bailey joined Cody as his carpenter and remained with him until 1906.29 Sept He travelled with Cody from place to place in the provinces until May 1903 when he stayed at Alexandra Palace and later Crystal Palace. Blackpool with The Klondyke Nugget. Cody and Leon gave 'an astonishing exhibition of rifle and revolver shooting' from the Hippodrome stage and gallery, afterwards distributing punctured cards to members of the audience. Cody also introduced 'his own patent quick-firing gun, which discharges a whole magazine of cartridges at one shot'.
29 Dec Phoebe Jane Cowdery, Cody's mother, died in Davenport, Iowa. She was buried in Oakdale Cemetery on the first of January 1901.
1901 Sometime this year resided in Crook, Co.
22 May Muncastle Bootle.
29 May Theatre Royal Consett.
14 Oct Wrote to War Office concerning his kite work. At Star Theatre Wolverhampton for one week.
21 Oct Artillery Theatre Woolwich.
28 Oct Walthamstow.
1 Nov Wrote to WO saying he 'was about to attempt some kite experiments using a kite of my own invention called the Viva kite similar to the American Blue Hill Box Kite i.e. flown on that principle with certain additions which I claim are an advantage over any kites yet flown.' He also claimed to be the maker of the largest kite in the world. Length 27ft. width 13ft. height 51/2 ft. with a spread of 675sq. ft. Experiment to take place on Wanstead Flats.
4 Nov Greenwich.
11 Nov Stratford.
14 Nov Cody and assistants dressed as cowboys and riding horses tried unsuccessfully to give kite exhibition at Wanstead Flats. Cody told the crowd that his kites had, so far, lifted only bags of sand.
19 Nov Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds. Tues. Cody writes ‘I succeeded in making my first ascent with my series of kites in a wind blowing 18mph shoulder high, and at a rate of 35mph 100 yards high. My pilot kite rose to a height of about 250yds, and I was 100 yards high. The measurement was taken by a rope attached to my basket and let down to the earth below.’ The ascent took place on the Barrack Field. Second ascent made , a height of about 800ft. reached. The wind was squally and after careering about for some time the supporting line snapped and Cody landed amongst the branches of a tree. He was unhurt except for burning on his hands caused by the friction of the rope.
20 Nov Filed a provisional application for patent no. 23566 - Improvements in Kites and Apparatus for the same. Cody residing Stratford East; at 38, Grove Crescent Road.
26 Nov Received letter from WO saying that they had been unable to attend his kite trials at Wanstead Flats but hoped to attend any further trials.
Dec Telegram sent to Cody at The Grange, Walker Road, Harrogate asking if it was convenient for an officer from Aldershot to see his kite experiments.
12 Dec Performed Klondyke Nugget at Queens Theatre, Leeds. Kite demonstration in Leeds. Major Trollope went to Leeds to see kite demonstration but weather was bad.
Kite demonstration at Worcester which was attended by Major Trollope on
behalf of the WO.
18 Apr Theatre Royal Seaham Harbour.
21 Apr Gave further kite demonstration before Col. Templer at Seaham Harbour. Very little wind until mid-day, not enough to fly kites it appeared but Cody managed. Templer offered Cody 2 or 3 doz. yards of some silk which would be of value in the construction of kites in a lighter breeze. Cody wrote to the WO requesting the silk.
25 Apr Miner's Theatre Ashington.
29 Apr A.V. Broke Smith wrote to Cody asking when his next kite exhibition would be. Cody at Royal West London Theatre, Church Street Edgware Road.
30 Apr WO wrote to Cody at Theatre Royal Hebburn CO> Durham refusing the supply of silk !
May Blackpool - flew kites at Raikes Hall.
9 July Theatre Royal, North Shields. Cody had accident. He had brought the kite down when...... ‘a sudden gust of wind gave the machine extra strength and jerked the winch which controlled the wire attached. Mr. Cody, who had hold of it, was dragged into the air, a portion of the machine was smashed by the jerk and the drum, turning round at great speed, jammed Mr. Cody’s right arm amongst the cog wheels. The wire then snapped and Mr. Cody fell to the ground, a distance of a few feet.’One of the bones between the wrist and elbow was ‘shattered’ and Cody was taken to Dr. Martin’s surgery.
14 July Metropole Theatre Gateshead. Around this date flew his smallest kite from North Durham cricket ground. Because of accident the previous week through kite flying Cody's right arm was in sling. His part in the play was taken by Edward Leroy.
17 July North Durham Cricket Ground - flew his smallest kite 12ft. across and 6ft. in length, with only 100ft. sq. of canvas. (His largest kite was 38ft by 24ft using 1,110 sq. ft. There were five sizes of kite).
28 July Kite experiments took place at the Recreation Grounds at Blyth Links. The weather was favourable and ‘the bat shaped machine in the air attracted a lot of attention.’ Cody says that he intends to make an ascent with one of his larger machines in a few days.
18 Aug (Mon) Experiments held from North Durham Cricket Field. Later this week someone entered the house where the kites were kept and... ‘maliciously cut one of the largest in several places.’ The police were informed.
19 Aug Cody engaged in meteorological experiments on behalf of the Newcastle Chronicle. Kite drifted away from Newcastle Town Moor after the wire had been fused by lightening. It was found near to Wardley Colliery by some boys. The kite was .. ‘much damaged.’
20 Aug (Thurs.) Weather variable - heavy rain showers followed by sunshine. A kite was kept at a distance of one and a half miles from the ground. The kite, again struck by lightening slowly drifted with the wind and was expected to come down between Newcastle and the coast and a reward was offered to anyone knowing the whereabouts of the kite.
Aug Supplied Scottish Antarctic Expedition with kites
20 Aug Complete specification filed for patent.
23 Aug (Sat) White silk kite with 250sq. ft. lifting surface sent up at 11.20am. The kite weighed 17 lbs and the meteograph attached weighed three and a half lbs. 4,125 altitude reached.
24 Aug (Sun) 11.30 kite sent up on moor. Black silk kite with a smaller, black silk kite known as the war kite (weighing five and a half lbs.) about 100ft below and to this was attached the meteorgraph. Highest altitude reached was 4,290 ft.
26 Aug (Tues. ) Further experiments carried out on behalf of The Newcastle Chronicle on the Town Moor Newcastle. His kite 'The Queen Alexandra' which is known as Cody’s No. 2 kite flew at 1.30 then later his No.1 Aeroplane kite flew. In addition a 'carrier kite' made an ascent for the first time. Highest altitude achieved was between 4,500 and 4,600 ft.
27 Aug (Weds.) The Queen Alexandra kite launched and reached 4,000 ft. A second black silk kite was attached in order to secure a higher altitude, but wind conditions were not favourable and only a further 1,000 ft. was achieved.
28 Aug (Thurs.) No.1 kite with meteorgraph attached was sent up but only reached about 600 ft.
30 Aug (Sat) Four kites sent up on one wire but not as successful as previous efforts owing to lack of wind .
31 Aug (Sun.) Two kites sent up from Cow Hill, a mile and a quarter of wire being played out. Highest altitude achieved so far. The wind velocity averaged about 12 miles an hour.
1 Sept Cody again on Town Moor making meteorological experiments with kites for the Chronicle. The kites were sent up from Cow Hill to a height of 8,700ft. For a single kite a height of 6,600ft was reached constituting a world record for a single kite.
2 Sept (Tues) Kite launched shortly before 10am. and after three quarters of an hour the altitude reached was 3,960 ft. At 3pm. a new black silk kite was successfully launched.
3 Sept (Weds.) Experiments carried out on Cow Hill Newcastle again but not as successful as previous efforts because of the gale that prevailed. The highest altitude reached was 1,200ft. Three kites suffered damage because... ‘ sticks or cross stays in the kites were of such light material that any pressure of wind would double them up hopelessly...’ Kites were refitted with heavier sticks.
4 Sept (Thurs) First kite launched in gale, velocity of wind being 52-56mph. Cody said it was the hardest gale he had successfully floated a kite in.
5 Sept (Fri) Most successful experiments Cody had ever conducted. ‘Queen Alexandra’ kite rose just before 11am. A second kite was attached and later a third. The three kites weighed 31 lbs and carried 64 lbs weight of wire. The flight altogether occupied upward of 7 hours. Total altitude reached was 14,000 ft which according to Cody was a record height achieved in England and being only 1,080 ft below the highest point reached in the world by the Blue Hill Observatory.
6 Sept (Sat) Little or no wind prevailed and the concluding experiment was made on a moderate scale. The experiment being to show how a kite can reach a fairly good altitude without the assistance of any wind. An altitude of 1,800 ft was attained.
8 Sept At Bath with Patrick Alexander for the Balloon Centenary. Cols. Templer and Capper also present. Cody sent up one of his kites and then a second kite on the same wire and...... 'other experiments were carried out, such as the sending up of a charge, which exploded from the ground. After many unsuccessful efforts Mr Cody also sent up the Stars and Stripes which, after taking some considerable time in passage, finally flaunted itself proudly in the air, some 600yds above the heads of the spectators'. (Bath Herald)
9 Sept At Bath still.
15 Sept Wedgewood Theatre, Burslem.
22 Sept Opera House, Morriston.
27 Sept Cody's father Samuel Franklin Cowdery died at the Mercy Hospital at 11pm , in Davenport Iowa. He was buried in Oakdale cemetery on the 30th September. In his obituary in 'The Davenport Democrat' he was said to have served with the 2nd Iowa Infantry Co. C. In the 'History of Scott County Iowa 1882' he was said to have been a wagoner in the Civil war. In the years before his death he had been a resident in an Old Soldier's home in California. (In the 1870 Census in Davenport his occupation is listed as 'carpenter'.)
29 Sept Coronet Theatre, Ebbw Vale.
6 Oct Royalty Theatre, Llanelly.
13 Oct Metropole Theatre, Devonport.
20 Oct Royal Theatre, Tonypandy.
27 Oct Metropole Theatre, Abertillery.
Autumn Appeared at Worcester Theatre. Used to fly kites at Worcester and at some point officials from the War Office came down from London to see the kites, but this was not a success because of lack of wind.
3 Nov Theatre Royal, Kidderminster.
10 Nov New Theatre, Ilkeston.
17 Nov Grand Theatre, Stalybridge.
19 Nov Made a Fellow of The Royal Meteorological Society.
20 Nov Patent accepted.
24 Nov Prince of Wales, Mexborough.
1 Dec Muncaster Theatre, Bootle.
8 Dec Grand Theatre Rawtenstall. Cody shot a glass ball from the head of 'a trusting volunteer'.
9 Dec Cody gave demonstrations of kite flying from Queen's Meadow, Rawtenstall. The kite used was 15ft across the smallest of five, the largest being 48ft across. Cody used piano wire for his first kite and a strong steel cable paid out from an iron windlass for the others. He had 12 miles of steel wire in the theatre.
16 Dec Royal Court Theatre Warrington.
1903 At some point this year Cody
lived at 'Vilette', Fawke Park Road, Putney, S.W.15.
5 Jan Theatre Royal, Belfast.
12 Jan Opera House, Londonderry.
19 Jan Court Theatre, Galway.
26 Jan Theatre Royal, Limerick.
2 Feb Theatre Royal, Waterford.
6 Feb Grand Opera House Liverpool (Klondyke Nugget Co.). First wrote to Admiralty.
10 Feb Cody and company appearing at the Queen's Royal Theatre Dublin performing Klondyke Nugget.
16 Feb Cody hoped to sail from ...'Kingstown for Holyhead in a small punt about 14ft long and 6ft beam and the only motive power will be a kite or airship........ A wind of twelve miles an hour is necessary to start the kite in the air.......Mr Cody says that if the wind is favourable he would prefer to go straight to Liverpool, as he knew the mouth of the Mersey better than the Holyhead landing.' (Irish News and Belfast Morning News).
23 Feb Grand Opera House Liverpool.
4 Mar Took part in charity football match at Villa Park. (Wednesday) Performed with cowboys, mules etc.
6 Mar Birmingham.
9 Mar Royal Artillery Theatre Woolwich for two weeks.
12 Mar Woolwich Common - kite trials for The Admiralty. The kite used had 8ft. spread and was taken down and furled in 25secs. Kite sent up again taking 3 1/2mins. The material of the 8ft kite is a 'kind of black silk, or silk and cotton, light and strong'. The 17ft kites are made of calico. The breeze was very light and the kite went up with great ease. Major Baden Powell was present for part of the time. Captain Tupper present.
13 Mar Woolwich Common - man-lifting kite trial continued. Royal Artillery Theatre, Woolwich. The wind was very light and they had to 'man the drag rope and walk away with the whole system to start the man up - with about 25 men we took it along about 150ft and came down again quite quietly as the breeze fell. The man went up 3 or 4 times, but owing to the light breeze he was not able to stay up'. Captain Tupper again present. Cody informed the navy that he charges £5 for the 8ft kites, and more for the larger ones.
16 Mar Theatre Royal, Edmonton. Address given as 14, Folkstone Road, Upper Edmonton.
24 Mar Amphitheatre, Ramsgate. Had letter from Admiralty confirming start of trials on 30th March.
29 Mar Arrived Speedwell Hotel, Portsmouth
30 Mar Started kite trials Whale Island. Very strong wind about 50mph. All sizes there from the 8ft to the man-lifting apparatus with 17ft kites.
31 Mar Further trials made.
1 Apr Sea trials began on H.M.S. Hector. Squally weather with rain. These two days successful in demonstrating the value of kites for lifting an aerial wire for wireless transmitters.
2 Apr Sea trials on H.M.S. Starfish. Strong winds 30-40mph.
3 Apr Sea trials on H.M.S. Starfish. Winds 20-30mph. The kites were got up from the after part of the destroyer without any difficulty.
4 Apr Completed trials in strong winds at Whale Island.
5 Apr Departed from Speedwell Hotel.
6 Apr Kings Theatre, Walthamstow.
11 Apr Kings Theatre, Walthamstow. Report in The Daily Graphic (Sat) on Cody's Kite Trials at Whale Island. Cody referred to as Col.
13 Apr Started second week of kite trials at Whale Island. Ascent of 500ft. made on shore but a change in the wind direction brought the kites down, Vivian was unhurt.
14 Apr Unsteady wind therefore not suitable for large kites.
15 Apr Unsteady wind therefore not suitable for large kites.
16 Apr Trials went to sea on H.M.S. Seahorse. The wind was moderate, the pilot and two lifters were safely launched but just as the carrier kite was about to leave the deck the whole system came down into the water.
17 Apr Trials continued on H.M.S. Seahorse. Good results with a flight of one pilot, two lifters and one carrier - a weight of 140lbs was sent up 300ft.
18 Apr Completed trials at Whale Island. Not sufficient wind to send up more than small silk kites.
21 Apr Letter written to Admiralty asking for £25,000, sent from the Surrey Theatre, London. A further £25,000 was requested on his discharge. In same letter he mentions his improvements on a quick firing small arm, which he hoped would be of use to either the Army or Navy. Cody also requested a salary of £1,250 per annum.
28 Apr Theatre Royal, Hebburn-On-Tyne.
3 May Carlton Theatre, Greenich.
9 May Letter from Director General of Ordnance telling Cody that 'after very careful consideration of your invention including the recent trials by the Admiralty at Portsmouth it is not proposed to take any further action in the matter, the man-lifting kite not being considered suitable for Army purposes.'
11 May Cody made his headquarters in the old banqueting hall at the Alexandra Palace stayed until March 1904.
12 May £100 offered to Cody as compensation for loss of his time etc.
14 May Report from James Swinburne saying that in his opinion Cody`s kite patent was invalid.
25 May Whit Monday Klondyke Nugget at Alexandra Palace.
1 June Alexandra Palace.
11 June Banqueting Hall, Alexandra Palace, Wood Green.
12 June Four complete kite outfits required. Cody asked to give quotation for same.
13 June Telegram sent by Cody quoting £50 each kite outfit.
17 June Theatre Royal, Stratford. Four sets of kite ordered, each set comprising of four kites with small winch, wires, and tackle complete. The kites are being supplied for trial to the following ships; 'Majestic', 'Doris', 'Revenge', and 'Good Hope'. Officers and men from these ships had been undertaking instructions in London in the use of the kites.
18 June Banqueting Hall, Alexandra Palace, Wood Green.
24 June Made member of the Aeronautical Society
25 June Thursday. International kite-flying competition promoted by the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain to test the best form of kite for high altitudes was held at Findon near Worthing on West Hill. A height of 3,000 ft. was fixed as the minimum; the duration of the flight was fixed to one hour; and each kite was required to carry a weight of two pounds to represent scientific instruments. A silver medal was to be awarded for the highest flight. A crowd in excess of two thousand had gathered on the downs. Only four of the original eight competitors took part. Major Baden-Powell found that he did not have any light wire that he needed, he made an attempt to work his military kite with a heavy wire but failed. The four competitors were S.F.Cody, L.Cody, Mr. S.H.R.Salmon with a kite described as 'resembling a number of diamond-shaped packing cases piled on one another' and Mr. Charles Brogden. The weather was not ideal and was rather thundery. A tolerable amount of steadiness was observed by the competing kites but the jury was unable to announce the results at the competition site and had to return to the Stanhoe Hotel on the front which served as the Societies headquarters.
26 June Friday. Official result of the competition was announced. The silver medal was not to be awarded as the minimum height had not been achieved. Mr. Charles Brogden had reached the greatest height (1816ft.) Leon second with 1476ft. and S.F. was third with 1407ft.
29 June Theatre Royal Aldershot ` The Klondyke Nugget ` for one week. Cody took the part of the King of the Cowboys, Edward was Sam Deats. Cody referred to as Col. Cody.
12 July Banqueting Hall, Alexandra Palace.
4 Aug Fete and Gala held in Stockwood Park, Luton. Cody flew his kites, including his compounds.
Sept Beginning of month first Aeronautical Exhibition since the one which took place at the Crystal Palace in 1868. The exhibits were housed in the old Banqueting Hall. Cody's kites were suspended from the ceiling and a number of photographs of his kites were on display.
21 Sept Banqueting Hall, Alexandra Palace.
25 Sept Cody and an assistant sailed in his collapsible boat pulled by kites on the Thames at Rosherville, near Gravesend. The experiments lasted about four hours and were witnessed by a large crowd.
3 Oct Kite flying competition held by the Aeronautical Institute and Club in the grounds of Alexandra Palace. Only three contestants presented themselves Cody, Salmon and Signor Profili. First prize, a silver medal, went to Cody.
28 Sept Report issued on tests with kites for wireless telegraphy aboard HMS ‘Good Hope’.
9 Oct Cody had arrived in Dover the previous evening and on Friday made the first trial in the bay. There was a strong SW wind blowing making it impossible to attempt to cross the channel to France. Cody put up a black kite which drew a boat from the Prince of Wales pier to the Promenade pier at a fast rate.
10 Oct At 7 o'clock on Saturday morning a Northerly wind was blowing and Cody decided to make an attempt to cross the channel. The Berthon collapsible 12' boat was carried down to the beach and Mr. Pilcher the coxswain of the Dover lifeboat was left in charge of it while Cody and a correspondent from the Daily Mail put up his largest kite from the Prince of Wales pier, but the wind did not pull the rope taut. Cody decided to use two kites with a lighter framework, these flew much better and the uppermost one reached at least 700'. As a precaution Cody attached a couple of 'lifelines' on which were strung a number of wooden balls. This was in case the boat capsized and the passengers were thrown into the water. The idea being that they grabbed hold of the balls and were then dragged to France. The Daily Mail reporter decided to also supply himself with a regulation pattern cork belt! Cody wore yellow oilskins and an inflatable life-belt but still wore his broad rimmed cowboy hat. Provisions were stowed and consisted of bottled ale and chocolate. At about 12.15 the boat set off but as it gathered way in the direction of the kites they began to sink rapidly. The sea anchor, a canvas bag that automatically opens in the water, was thrown overboard and the resistance it exercised brought the boat up with a jerk. The kites once again rose and the boat progressed slowly. When a stronger gust caught the kites the sea anchor was hauled on board, and the boat rushed ahead at a great speed. After passing the lightship the wind again failed and the kite line became slack. The sea anchor was again used but made no difference. The kite line entered the water and the lower kite plunged in circles. Cody and his passenger pulled the line in as fast as possible but it fell into the sea a few yards from the boat. Cody at this point inflated his lifebelt and efforts were made to recover the 15' kite from the sea, which they succeeded in doing. A large rowing boat containing Mr. G. Brewer joined them and helped control the kite still aloft. It was realised that they had to return and oars were used to row back to Dover where they landed shortly before 3pm. For his next attempt Cody decided to use only one larger kite.
18 Oct Sunday. Kite competition at Alexandra Palace - gave kite inventors an opportunity to demonstrate the parachute qualities of their kites. The kites were cut adrift and they slowly descended to the ground. Cody came second with Charles Brogden, Mr. S.H.Wiltshire coming first.
4 Nov Thursday. Cody telephoned London from Dover asking 'his representatives' to bring down 'Old Faithful' a two year old kite which had been used in his demonstrations to the Admiralty. Report on tests with kites for wireless telegraphy aboard HMS ‘Doris’ issued.
5 Nov Friday. The kite arrived and was taken to the beach for trials, but the wind was blowing straight from Calais to Dover. Cody and his assistants took the 11am mail boat over to Calais. At 7.30 Cody launched his boat 'Lela' accompanied by a French pilot boat. The first mile was covered in 14 mins. The pilot boat with six rowers could not keep pace and they eventually turned back. The wind was SE but had softened, Cody steered against the tide to give the kite a chance of rising. Then came a squall and the kite moved higher and the pull on the line was terrific. Cody turned and headed straight for the South Foreland lights. The boat was making a good speed, 6 or 8 miles an hour, when half way across the wind fell with the kite pointing away from the line he was travelling. Cody then found himself drifting fast in the direction of the South Goodwin light and the Goodwin Sands. The kite rapidly dropped and was hauled onto the boat. The bridle of the kite was lashed to the masthead, it was very cold and Cody leant against the brace that kept the canvas decking taut. Ramsgate was sighted and when the tide changed the wind freshened up and the boat was in danger of being upset. The kite was then put up and he passed inside the South lightship. He was heading for Kingsdown but decided to stick to going to Dover. Just off Dover the kite again dropped and had to be once more lashed to the mast. Cody turned at a sharp angle and headed for the Admiralty Pier. He landed at 8.30 close to the Lord Warden Hotel. He was cold and tired and Cody enjoyed eggs and bacon. He had spent £23 on the attempt but had saved the 11s fare from Calais to Dover on the mail boat. Report on tests with kites for wireless telegraphy on board HMS ‘Majestic’ issued. Two kites were lost plus two more transferred from ‘Doris’ also lost.
30 Nov London Pavilion Music Hall. Cody gave a short lecture on kite navigation and related the experiences of his night trip across the channel. Cody appeared with 'boat, kite, costume and appliances used in his daring experiment'.
21 Dec First performance of `Viva` at the Royal Opera House, Leicester
28 Dec Letter to Ballooning Factory Aldershot to see if they would be interested in a demonstration of signal kites and man-lifting experiments taking place at Alexandra Park, Wood Green in January.
1904 `Klondyke Nugget’ staged at The Brighouse
Albert Theatre sometime during this year.
6 Jan Answer to letter of 28 Dec. 'Thank you but no'. Cody again writes to the WO.
8 Jan `Nevada’ a musical comedy drama received copyright performance at New Carlton Theatre, Saltley. 'Nevada' had 3 acts and 11 characters and the plot again centred around miners.
11 Jan Postcard from Cody at Alexandra Palace to Admiralty asking if they would be interested in viewing his man-lifting experiments ‘using many of my latest improvements’.
22 Jan Cody gave kite demonstration at Alexandra Palace. Leon went up to a height of 2,000ft but had trouble in descending, he eventually was brought down safely. Later Mr. Dudley Barton, son of the airship inventor and Mr. Spencer son of Stanley Spencer went up in the man-lifter.
9 Feb Alexandra Palace
18 Feb Letter sent to Captain Charlton from Cody telling of his proposed use of kites for signalling.
22 Feb Alexandra Palace, Wood Green
29 Feb Letter from Capt. Charlton saying that kites could be of value for signalling but not for wireless telegraphy.
Mar Began tenancy at Crystal Palace. His works were situated over the low level entrance of the Crystal Palace where he had a number of people employed. He left Crystal Palace in May 1906.
4 Mar The proposal form for membership of the Aero Club was rejected, possibly because of his professionalstatus. He had been proposed by Rolls.
12 Mar Postcard from Cody at Crystal Palace to Admiralty informing them of his change in address and inviting them to view his man-lifting experiments in the coming week.
4 Apr Cody writes to the Admiralty telling them he will be appearing at the Metropole Theatre, Devonport and offering his services to ‘those interested in kite work.’
9 April ‘Itchen’ and ‘Hasty’ issued with a set of Cody kites each.
14/15 Apr Kite testing at Devonport.
19 April ‘Caesar’, ‘Revenge’, ‘Good Hope’ and ‘Vernon’ each supplied with a set of kites for experiments with ‘distant signalling by flags’. ‘Duncan’ was issued with two sets.
25 April Monday. Theatre Royal Exeter. `Klondyke Nugget` was performed for six nights but without Cody. Capper wrote to Cody saying that Sir John French has been shown his letter. Suggested Cody sends short description and photographs of experiment.
26 Apr Wrote to War Office from Crystal Palace ,to Capper, saying he would be willing to give a demonstration of what his improved kite (which has not been seen by the Admiralty) was capable of doing. He requested 12 men plus 1 horse to help him.
16 May New Theatre Royal, Croydon for six nights.
27 May Received letter from Capper saying they would like to view any kite experiments.
4 June Arrived at Aldershot Station.
6 June `Klondyke Nugget` performed at Royal Surrey Theatre. Cody does not appear to have performed, his part being taken by Edward. Between 6th and 25th June Lieutenant R.V.D. Holwell RE was in charge of the trials of Cody's man-lifting and signal kites. 12-20 non-commissioned officers and men of the 3rd Balloon Section were placed at his disposal.
7 June 3 ascents made by Lieut. Holwell, the highest being 1,300ft. 1 by Lieut. Broke- Smith. Wind 17mph. One set of kites issued to ‘Foyle’.
8 June Lieut. Holwell made 2 ascents. Wind 20 mph.
11 June A sudden gust of wind carried away the pilot kite when Lieut. Holwell was 600ft. in the air. As the wind was light there were two additional pilot kites, the flight consisted of 9 kites with 2 man-lifters. The result of the breakaway was that the kites in the flight began to turn round and round, the motion finally reaching the man-lifters. The flight began to sink gently and was hauled down. One of the additional pilots was damaged and one of the kites of the flight was a wreck.
13 June Lieut. Holwell made 1 ascent. Wind was 15mph with gusts up to 25.
14 June Sapper Shaw, Corporal Baxter made 1 ascent each. Lieut. Holwell, C.S.M.Powell and Corporal Baxter made 1 ascent altogether. Wind was 13-25mph.
15 June 1 ascent each by Lieut. Holwell, CSM Powell, Corporal Ramsay, Corporal O'Rourke, 2nd-Corp Hughes and Lieut. Spaight. Wind was 18mph. When Lieut. Spaight was 150ft in the air, some stitching in the pilot gave way and carried the flight right across the wind, with the result that the flight began to twist around. The man-lifter caught the motion and broke when about 100ft in the air. The flight got lower and lower and came down with a bump.
16 June Cody and Capper made short ascents in kite. Wind 25mph. At night Lieut. Holwell made 1 ascent. Wind 15-20mph.
20 June Lieut. General Sir John French due to see kite trials at 11am on Laffan’s plain, Farnborough. (Just east of the Grand Stand)
25 June 1 ascent each by Corporal O'Rourke, Col. Capper, Lance Corporal Lanman plus 2 by Lieut. Holwell. Wind was strong and gusty about 40mph.
30 June Letter sent from Officer Commanding Balloon Sections RE to General Officer Commanding RE 1st Army Corps., giving a favourable report on the kite trials, and recommending that 'one set of man-lifting and one set of signal kites be purchased from Cody as a pattern and that a contract be obtained from that gentleman to allow the Government to construct additional sets if required at a certain fixed royalty; or that the Government should acquire all his rights in his special kite plant for a fixed sum down.' He also recommended that Cody should be engaged for 3 months to act as instructor to the Balloon Section in kite flying at a salary of £50 per month.
19 July One set of kites issued to ‘Fairy’.
20 July Report received on kite trials on ‘Tenedos’ at Devonport.
1 Aug Mon. Cody`s company at Princess Theatre Glasgow for one week.
8 Aug Cody had been appearing at the Bradford Exhibition giving demonstrations of his kites. These demonstrations had not been too successful as their had been little wind and the grounds were surrounded by buildings and trees. A young man named Baker who worked for the Vacuum Cleaning Company asked to be allowed up. Baker ascended above the trees when a strong blast caught him and he was ...'whirled up the wire at a rapid pace'. Baker commenced to slide down the wire at an increasing pace, and at the same time the wire began to sag downwards. Baker ended up on the clock house roof and finally clambered through an attic window.
10 Aug Headquarters Crystal Palace.
20 Aug Report received on kite trials from ‘Fairy’ at Devonport.
24 Aug War Office Committee visited Aldershot. Cody attended to show kites.
29 Aug Report received on kite trials from ‘Blackwater’ at Devonport.
31 Aug Sent Capper quotations for complete outfit of man-lifting kites, the entire patent rights, salary and conditions under which he was prepared to serve His Majesty`s Government or royalties required. Letter written from Headquarters at Crystal Palace. Terms asked for were £8,000 down or £5,000 +£600 per annum for 12 years.
4 Oct Kites on ‘Good Hope’ no longer required and therefore returned to stores.
18 Oct Cody writes to ‘Director of Contracts’ at the Admiralty, from Crystal Palace, asking if they would like to purchase two sets of kites and he would be prepared to.... ‘make a reduction in price of £10 each outfit should you see fit to purchase these within the next fourteen days.
9 Nov Admiralty reply to Cody’s letter of the 18th of October, saying... thank you but no.
2 Dec Spoke to Aeronautical Society.
10 Dec Report received from ‘Caesar’ - no Cody kites on trial because they were lost.
22 Dec Report received from ‘Duncan’ on tests using kites for wireless telegraphy.
24 Dec Lived at 5, Palace Square, Upper Norwood, London, S.E.
1905 25 Jan Contract placed for one complete
set of man-lifting kites for £500.
1 Feb 3 month contract began at a monthly salary of £55.
1 Feb Favourable report from ‘Exe’ on kite trials from Malta, and a request that ‘Exe’ and ‘Erne’ should be supplied with two of these kites each for a further trial.
3 Feb Kite transferred from ‘Revenge’ to ‘Exmouth’ - no report yet.
6 Feb 5 ascents made at Aldershot.
7 Feb Favourable report on kites received from ‘Locust’ in Malta.
10 Feb 3 ascents made .
15 Feb 5 ascents made.
17 Feb At Crystal Palace. Lt. Holwell met with accident during kite trial at Aldershot.
20 Feb Cody made ascent of 700ft.
21 Feb Cody made ascent of 500ft.
27 Feb Cody made ascent of 600ft.
6 Mar Mon. Scrogg’s Bottom - photography with kites.
7 Mar Tues. Caesar’s camp. Attempted to photograph Aldershot from kite half a mile high but failed.
8 Mar Weds. Long Valley. Tandem pilot kites flown to 2,000ft, one photograph taken of Scrogg’s Bottom.
9 Mar Thurs. Scrogg’s Bottom. First test of motor driven ‘worm gear’ for hauling down. Wire became kinked on motor winch and kite broke away and landed in the middle of canal. It was hauled out and relaunched.
10 Mar Fri. Caesars Camp. Tandem pilots flown 3,000ft. Two photographs taken - one of the Royal Pavilion and one of the Cavalry riding ground.
11 Mar Sat. Flew special storm kite with self adjusting steering gear on Queens Parade.
13 Mar Mon. Flying with new section who were put through kite drill.
14 Mar Tues. Laffan’s Plain. Tandem pilots for man lifting flight. Static electricity or a ‘mild form of lightening’ burnt small holes through the rope in several places. The pilots fell in Oak Road, Farnborough Road.
15 Mar Weds. Flew at Scroggs Bottom. Special device for keeping the winch under cover at one point, the kites being launched from another point 1,000 yards away, by means of a ‘leading block’ tied to a tree.
16 Mar Thurs. General cleaning up of kite gear.
17 Mar Fri. Laffan’s Plain. Completed new kite for carrying camera. Leon made two ascents.
20 Mar Laffan’s Plain. Capper made ascent.
23 Mar Long Valley. Four short ascents. Capper made ascent.
24 Mar Overhauling of entire outfit..
27 Mar General cleaning up and repairs.
28 Mar Laffan’s Plain. Three ascents made, record height . Cody reached 1550ft.
29 Mar Queen’s Parade.
30 Mar Cody left the field to catch an early train in order to test ‘how far a B kite could be seen’. The kite could be seen until Brookwood was passed.
31 Mar Fri. Laffan’s Plain. A rapid descent was made, and Cody ‘felt no shock whatever’.
1 Apr Cody writes from Aldershot to Admiralty asking them to witness the improvements to his man-lifting kites. He says... ‘I feel sure this would lead to further business, as I can practically guarantee that a kite will not turn over and dive into the water as they used to’.
3 Apr ‘Exmouth’ returns kites... ‘As I can see no use to which this Article can be put.’
4 Apr Admiralty say.. ‘No thank you’ to Cody’s offer of 1st April. 3 short ascents made.
5 Apr Weds. Laffan’s Plain - testing kites.
6 Apr Thurs. Laffan’s Plain - testing kites three ascents made.
7 Apr Fri. Long Valley. Sent instruments up 3,600ft. Sapper Hampson reached 1500ft.
10 Apr Mon. General cleaning up indoors.
11 Apr. Tues. Finished storing wire.
14 Apr. Fri. Long Valley - two ascents made.
17 Apr. Edge of Long Valley. Man sent up while Cody watched half a mile away. Cap. Smith in charge.
18 Apr. Tues. Long Valley. Nine ascents made. Sap. Moreton and Boy Copeland made short ascent together.
19 Apr. Weds. Long Valley with two ascents. Cody made one short ascent.
20 Apr. Thurs. One ascent at Balloon Factory.
25 Apr. Tues. Scrogg’s Bottom.
25 Apr Trials with Cody kites for wireless telegraphy closed. Kites on ‘Duncan’, ‘Exmouth’ and ‘Good Hope’ transferred to ‘Sapphire’ for experiments in signalling. The set on board ‘Leviathan’ to be transferred to Mediterranean. Flotilla for signalling experiments. Six kites two thirds ordinary size and six kites half ordinary size ordered to be sent to the Mediterranean.
27 Apr. Thurs. Five ascents made from Long Valley. Sapper Morton or Moreton reached 2600ft.
28 Apr. Fri. Six ascents made from Long Valley. (Two by Cody)
4 May Report from ‘Duncan’ - no longer have kites , transferred to ‘Venus’, one in April ‘04 other in January ‘05.
One ascent made at Long Valley. Cody - 30ft.
11 May Thurs. One ascent. Cody - 30ft.
16 May Long Valley. Seven ascents made. Lieut. Broke-Smith - 800ft.
17 May Four ascents made. Lieut. Broke-Smith - 3,340ft. Record
26 May Contract extended for a further 3 months on same terms to 31.7.05.
1 June Edge of Long Valley. Lieut. Wells made two or three short ascents plus one to 1,000ft.
2 June Long Valley to Scrogg’s Bottom. Twelve ascents made including three by Cody, one by Capper.
9 June Long Valley. Four ascents made.
14 June Long valley. One ascent made.
July Glider kite nearing completion.
? Glider kite (the design of which included one of the first recorded uses of separate ailerons) had a 51ft wing span but was very light having an unladen weight of 116lbs. It was first flown at the Crystal Palace and then flown from Jubilee Hill, Long Valley Aldershot.It was flown as a kite with its pilot prone on the lower wing, returning to earth as a glider. The longest glide made was 740ft with a drop of 350ft. One day an accident occurred with Vivian as pilot - the glider was not rebuilt.
20 July Cody writes to the Admiralty from Aldershot - asking if they could confirm the order of 12 sets of signal kites as ‘he would like to put these in hand before leaving England for my summer holiday’.
22 July G.O.C. 1st Army-Corps, reported progress and a copy was sent to the Admiralty.
1 Aug Contract again extended for 3 months on a salary of £100 and on condition that he should not deal with any foreign government.
12 Aug Admiralty wonder if Cody will reduce his estimate of £1,200 for supply of twelve kites to be purchased for trial with the Mediterranean Flotilla.
19 Aug Three of the four kites issued to ‘Venus’ (transferred from Duncan) lost during trials. Remaining kite transferred to ‘Vulcan’, Mediterranean Fleet.
14 Sept The Admiralty asked whether any men instructed in the use of the kites could be supplied to instruct men of the Navy.
14 Sept Admiralty decided to defer the purchase of Cody kites until 1906-07.
20 Sept The Army Council wrote to the Admiralty suggesting combined trials should be carried out after the Aldershot manoeuvres, and 'that it was extremely advisable to retain Mr. Cody's services'.
16 Oct Chief Engineer, Aldershot Army-Corps and the G.O.C. -in-Chief, recommended that Cody be retained for a period of three years.
2 Nov Treasury sanctioned Cody’s further employment to 31.3.06 at a salary of £33.6s.8d. per month.
1 Dec F.W. 4 asked the President, Royal Engineer Committee, for a definite recommendation from the Committee that Cody's kites should be introduced into the service.
14 Dec President, Royal Engineer Committee recommended that the kites be adopted into the Service as part of the equipment of Balloon companies, Royal Engineers.
5 Dec Spoke to Aeronautical Society about `Glider Kite’.
1906 3 Mar Mr. Swinburne (Patent
Expert) was again asked for a report on the validity of Mr. Cody's patent.
5 Mar Mr. Swinburne stated that in his opinion the patent was invalid, because there was no invention in what the patentee claimed. He continued that ' It was also technically bad, because there was disconformity between the provisional and complete specifications; but the kite submitted to the WO might have merit and invention apart from the patent'. Question asked as to whether the kites as at present constructed were made in accordance with Cody's patent, as before royalty was paid it must be made clear that the patent was not infringed.
22 Mar Meeting arranged between Director of Artillery and Director of Fortifications and Works and Cody to try and reach an agreement on kite payment-draft . An agreement was finally reached whereby Cody received £1,000 a year with forage for his horse etc. for two years. Cody had to agree to work solely for the War Office and not to approach other governments.
1 Apr Cody became responsible for design and manufacture of kites at factory and instructor at school, with a two year contract and a salary of £1,000.
May Cody left Crystal Palace.
22 May Moved into `Pinehurst’ .
11 June Until 15th June camped under canvas at Lark Hill.
17 June Until 23rd June camped under canvas at Lark Hill.
23 Jun Report on kites received from ‘Peterel’.
20 July Aldershot was informed that the Army Council would consider any claim by Cody for reward after he had completed 1 years service subsequent to 1.4.06.
6 Aug Until 17 Aug. camped under canvas at Trawsfynydd.
9 Oct D. of A. stated that the patent, according to Mr. Swinburne's report, was invalid, and no royalty could be paid.
26 Oct Kites for testing on ‘Locust’, ‘Panther’ and ‘Orwell’ all lost.
Dec Sent to France to purchase Antoinette engine for airship. Cody was authorised to spend a sum 'not exceeding £550 on a really good engine.'
Thank you Jean !
The Hompage for the:Mrs. Jean