L’écho du cerf volant

1908203 x 310 mm

2 500 



RARISSIVE SET OF 6 NUMBERS of France's pioneering aeronautical newspaperfounded in 1908 by the young Georges Houard, aged 15, in the form of a mimeographed sheet with a print run of around thirty copies.
Edmond Blanc describes Houard's astonishing career in All aviation (1930) : "Let's jump back to 1908. A schoolboy by the name of Georges Houard was passionately following the beginnings of the Wright brothers. His only aircraft was a kite. He founded l'Echo du Cerf - Volant , with a print run of thirty copies , using mimeographed paper. Delagrange encouraged him. The press reported him". A printer approached Houard, and in August 1909 the paper changed its name to The KiteThe four main editors on the cover were all military men. The magazine was published until 1914, and after the war Houard founded one of the most famous French aeronautical magazines,  The Wingswhich he ran until 1960.

No precise collation of l'écho du Cerf-Volant has been published; issue 1 appeared in December 1908 and the magazine probably stopped in June 1909 when it changed name and format. Publication seems to have been monthly, although some issues were published a second time with a few changes.
This fragile magazine is not present in any institution.

The set includes 6 issues produced using an alcohol duplicator and published between 1908 and 1909: new inventions, reports on competitions, reports on kite ascents in the Bois de Boulogne:

  • The second edition of the 1st issue, dated December 1908, with instructions on the proper handling of the kite and advice on where to launch it;
  • Number 4, with illustrated instructions for building the "Aquilon" and "Mercure" kites;
  • The 2nd edition of number four, dated February 1909; with, compared with the first edition, a more complete construction of the Aquilon, the addition of the articles "L'écho du mois", "Notre but", and the withdrawal of the articles "Le cerf-volant Mercure", "Planeur frégate", "Nos expériences", "L'association de Nancy" and "Le Libellule";
  • Issue 6, with an article on the first flying men;
  • Issue 7, with a report on the kite-flying competition organised to mark the inauguration of the Juvisy aerodrome (the back was not printed and remained blank);
  • An issue dated March 1909 giving an account of an air navigation competition in 1905 and announcing the attachment of The echo of the kite at the Drago club.

Georges Houard's autograph notebook illustrated with press cuttings (36 sheets), kept between 10 July 1909 and 2 November 1909; a collection of information published in the press, the notes report on air navigation prices and advances in aviation (Blériot and Latham's attempts to cross the Channel, height records, etc.).

Nice outfit.


1908 - 1909.6In-f, Sheets,203 x 310 mm,6 vols. each of 1 f. folded in two + a notebook of 43 ff. of which 7 ff. bl.

Sheets duplicated in alcohol (mimeographed).
Half-cover notebook.

L'écho du cerf-volant: cut on No. 1, cut on the 1st leaf and tear on the 2nd leaf of the March 1909 issue, wetness on No. 6, two issues have faded; No. 7 has not been printed on the reverse, which has remained blank.
Notebook: Rubbing, corners dulled.


Georges Houard

(Nancy: 1893 - Paris: October 12, 1964)

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