George Pocock

Inventor

1796 – 1843

12

Who was George Pocock?

George Pocock was an English schoolteacher and inventor of the "Charvolant", a kite-drawn carriage.

Pocock was interested in kites from an early age, and experimented with pulling loads using kite power, gradually progressing from small stones to planks and large loads. He taught at a school in Prospect Place, Bristol and continued his experiments with his pupils. By 1820 he had determined that in combination they could support considerable weight and began experimenting with man-lifting kites. In 1824, he used a 30-foot kite with a chair rig to lift his daughter, Martha over 270 feet into the air. Later the same year and continuing to use his family as subjects, he lifted his son to the top of a cliff outside Bristol; his son briefly dismounted from the chair at the top of the 200-foot cliff and then concluded the test by releasing a clip on the kite line which allowed him to slide down the line in the chair and return to earth.

Having concluded that kites were capable of lifting humans, he turned again to experimenting with them as a way of pulling loads, this time as a method of pulling vehicles. Using kites in various arrangements he determined that a small number of large kites were capable of pulling a carriage with passengers.

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Born
1796
Died
1843

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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