Gibson Girl Box Kite

2 Feb

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Been busy adding new exhibits to the museum this week, one item is this Gibson Girl kite.  During the Second World War, British bombers of the Royal Air Force were equipped with survival equipment to aid the recovery of the crew if they ended up in the sea.  One of the items was a hand cranked radio and in order to optimise the signal this kite was issued to get the aerial into the air.  It folded down into a pouch, was lightweight and bright yellow in colour.

Amongst the air crew of Bomber Command it became known as the ‘Gibson Girl’ because of its shape.  American aircrew had been issued with these box kites earlier in the war and it was probably they who coined the phrase ‘Gibson Girl’.  Charles Gibson was an American illustrator in the early twentieth century and drew what he saw as the “ideal of an American beauty” –a lady with an hour glass figure.

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