Testimonial from Hargrave Contemporaries

In 1894 Octave Chanute, considered one of the most influential people in aeronautical development, published ‘Progress in Flying Machines’, published in the USA; 14 of its 398 pages were devoted Chanute to Lawrence Hargrave’s experiments in which he made the claim:
If there is one man, more than another, who deserves to succeed in flying through the air, that man is Lawrence Hargrave of Sydney, New South Wales.’
Lawrence had not yet moved to Stanwell Park at time of writing, nor had he achieved his finest accomplishments.


Douglas Archibald, Vice-President of the Royal Society in London, who came especially to Stanwell Park to see Hargrave in 1896:
The balancing of single planes is wasted labour… in whatever way the rate of flying may develop in the future. Mr. Hargrave has removed one serious surviving obstacle to the safe and rapid development of aerial travel.’


From friend and future Prime Minister of the Australian Commonwealth, Edmund Barton, 1894:
Hargrave stands alone as one who has developed simultaneously the best form of aeroplane and motor before attempting to combine them in a flying machine. The great advance made by Hargrave is in having constructed what has been experimentally found to be a perfectly stable aeroplane.


Lawrence Hargrave with Alexander Graham Bell, an aeronautical pioneer as well as inventor of the telephone, in 1911 in Sydney.


Bell said of Hargrave at that time:
His work formed the basis of our modern progress and
teaching regarding the navigation of the air.’
Unfortunately Bell could also say that
Mr. Lawrence Hargrave is better known in America than
in his own country.’




Wilbur Wright in 1911 named Lawrence Hargrave as one of the five most important contributors to flight:
Lilienthal, Chanute, Langley, Maxim and Hargrave formed by far the strongest group of workers in the field the world has ever seen.
In McFarland, MW, The Papers of Orville and Wilbur Wright, 1953.


The vital components of the Wright Flyer of 1903, and the names of those whose work was known to the Wrights, and who so contributed to the first powered flight in a man-carrying flying machine. Hargrave can be credited with playing a role in 8 of the eleven major contributions.
(From Hudson Shaw, chief biographer of Lawrence Hargrave.)


Hargrave saw himself as one of many working towards powered manned flight in the air. He was a true scientist, painstaking in his research and development, as well as displaying genus in his inventions. It is well to remember he did it all on his own, isolated from the mainstream aeronautical community. This was commendable, but it limited the development of important components in his quest for flight. Many would agree however with T. C. Roughley, one of Hargrave’s most penetrating biographers, that Hargrave ‘probably did as much to bring about the accomplishment of dynamic flight as any other single individual’.


Our aim is to draw attention to the pioneering contribution that
Lawrence Hargrave made to the development of human flight,
as well as championing his interest in the natural heritage
and cultural development of Stanwell Park.

We are available for exhibitions, displays of Lawrence Hargrave models and educational activities.
Contact the Secretary
info [at] lawrencehargravecentre [dot] com for details.