March 24 Birthday: The Kite that Bridged Two Nations

Homan J. Walsh, kite flyer, teenager
March 24, 1831 – March 8, 1899

The Kite that Bridged Two Nations
by Alexis O’Neill
illustrated by Terry Widener
(Calkins Creek, 2013)

In January 1848, Charles Ellet, the engineer hired to build the first suspension bridge to connect the United States and Canada, held a kit-flying contest, offering a cash prize to the first boy to anchor a string across the 800 foot wide section of the Niagara gorge. From that string, builders would draw larger and larger cables across-the first hurdle in building the historic bridge.

This is the story of Homan J. Walsh, the sixteen year old boy who met the challenge.