Archives Photograph Collection

preview image

Kites (probably being used for radio reception)

image number:



From the collection of Rolla Roy Ramsey.

Ramsey had a great interest in radio. In the early days of radio, and even still yet today (2015), it is known that sometimes kites were flown with antenna wire to gain better reception. It is possible that that is what is being demonstrated here as the white coil is probably the main tether for the kite and the two coils above that appear to be some type of wire.

At present the image does not appear to have been taken on the Indiana University campus. It is possible that if Ramsey was the actual photographer that the image was shot at his farm here in Bloomington which is now (2015), at least in part, part of Renwick Estates on the southwest corner of East Moores Pike and South Sare Road.

date taken:

circa 1908

film code:

Glass-plate (no code visible)

photographer studio:

Ramsey, Rolla Roy ?

accession number:


personal name:

Knipp, Charles Tobias

location of individuals:

Charles Tobias Knipp (Indiana University class of 1894) is certainly the person at left (compare this image to an image at the University of Illinois showing Ernest Rutherford visiting members of the Physics Department, including Knipp, in 1906). A resemblance can also be seen with his senior picture that appears in the Indiana University 1894 Arbutus yearbook.

It has been suggested that the man at right might be William A. Eddy, the inventor of the "Eddy" version of the diamond kite or "The Eddykite". When comparing known pictures of Eddy to this image, however, a resemblance cannot be seen.

It has also been suggested that the man at right might be physicist Jacob Kunz of the University of Illinois. When this image is compared with image 0006625 (a portrait of Jacob Kunz held at the University of Illinois Archives) a resemblance can be seen. Note also that Both Knipp and Kunz taught at Indiana University (at least during the summer of 1922).

corporate name:

Physics, Department of ?


Kites (Scientific)


Scientific equipment


Group portraits


Radio antennas


Bloomington ?


Indiana ?