Lawrence Hargrave

Lawrence Hargrave (1850–1915)
Lawrence Hargrave was born in Greenwich, England, and came to Australia in 1883. He had a comfortable life and made enough money to be able to spend his time doing experiments and inventing things.

In 1894, he became the first man in Australia to fly — at Stanwell Park in New South Wales. He made four box kites and joined a seat to them. With the help of the wind, he was able to float 5 metres above the ground on the end of a length of wire. He also invented a type of aeroplane engine and an aeroplane with flapping wings. He did not want to make money from any of his ideas and was happy to share them with everyone. He died of blood-poisoning in 1915.

Hargrave's face is on the $20 note, there are places named after him and a memorial to him has been built at Stanwell Park.

Back to Biographies Gallery