The Bells of Baddeck

The Bell's of Baddeck have always held a special place in the hearts of kite fliers.
In the summer of 2011, the Kite Museum (Canada) and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum (Baddeck) signed a 3 year Memorandum of Understanding to partner of various mutual interests.

The first was this summer's exhibit at the Bell Museum of kites from the Kite Museum that Alexander would have seen during his 1910-11 world tour.  We are planning a new exhibit for 2012.

The Kite Museum is working on a "The Bell's of Baddeck" exhibit, titled to pay proper tribute to the equally important role that Mabel Bell played in the development of flight and a number of other initiatives - such as beginning the first Home & School Association.

In the fall of 2011, we shall explore the feasibility of organizing the first historical kite festival in Baddeck, so stay tuned for more about that.

We look forward to this new adventure, which marks a new direction for the kite museum, one that moves towards a growing circulation of exhibits and partnerships with other organizations and interests.

 

Here is a radio interview with CBC radio about the new partnership between the Bell Museum and the Kite Museum.  CBC Radio interview. 

For more about the Alexander Graham Bell/Parks Canada museum in Baddeck, Cape Breton click here: Bell Museum  Below are some pictures of our joint exhibit in Baddeck.

 

This is an article about the exhibit.

Kites of the World exhibit flying high at Bell museum

webkites

webkites Published on July 29, 2011

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post RSS Feed

BADDECK — Alexander Graham Bell’s Kites of the World exhibit at the Bell museum is averaging 200 visitors a day since it opened on Parks Canada Day in early July.

Topics : Aerial Experiment Association , Parks Canada , Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site , Indonesia , Baddeck , Germany

The exhibit features three different components: An interactive touch screen for kids, a gallery of nine colourful kites from around the world and a tetrahedral workshop that gives kids and families the chance to build something to show how they are inspired.

“Kites of the World is the first significant change in exhibits at the museum in a few years,” explained Mark Sajatovich, project co-ordinator for exhibit redevelopment at Parks Canada at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. “It has allowed us to partner with the Kite Museum of Pelee Island, Ont., and its director George Paisiovich and use their expertise in developing what has turned out to be a most popular exhibit.”

Bell’s work with the Aerial Experiment Association was a large part of his life in Baddeck, from his early kite-flying experiments to the flight of the Silver Dart airplane in February 1909.

“Bell came up with the tetrahedral kite cell which he patented in 1902,” Sajatovich said. “While we take it for granted now, it was a fundamental building block. At that time it was a critical piece of innovation. People are fascinated to learn that the Silver Dart started out with a tetrahedral kite cell.”

The kite exhibit, located between the area dedicated to the Aerial Experiment Association and the hydrofoil exhibit, explores the history, culture and the inspiration of kites and ties it to places Bell visited during his world tour in 1910.

“Whether it is from Germany, Japan, Indonesia or India, these are all kites that Bell would have seen during his world tour.”

The exhibit includes a centipede kite from China composed of trains with a dragon head and a train of equally dimensioned kite disks, a North American barn door kite which was used for lifting meteorological instruments, a signed fighter kite used in the movie “The Kite Runner” and, constructed by the same kite builder, a kite from Indonesia made of leaves of the breadfruit tree used by Indonesians for fishing, an act depicted on Indonesian currency, and a 100-year-old L’Aigloplan from France, a variation of a French military or vented keel kite.

“We have a lot of international visitors and they are drawn to the Kites of the World Exhibit, which directly reflects their culture and ties into Bell’s history.”

With the opening of the Kites of the World exhibit, the new and improved museum store and the newly opened Tetra cafe are now located in the front hall of the museum.

There is no admission to the museum store or the cafe, which are operated by the Alexander Graham Bell Museum Association.

“Over the next few years we are redeveloping the interior of the museum and part of phase one was to redevelop the front of the building,” Sajatovich said. “Now, during their stay with us, people can also visit the museum shop, relax with a coffee and a snack and enjoy the view of the harbour.”

jcollins@cbpost.com

 

 


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