How were kites once used in early meteorology?
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Kites, when skillfully designed and flown, can reach extraordinary heights. The world record for a single kite being flown is 14,509 feet (4,422 meters). The record was set in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, on August 12, 2000, by Richard Synergy. Much greater heights may be achieved, however, when multiple kites are linked together. A chain of 10 kites set an American record in 1910, rising to 23,385 feet (7,128 meters), and a collection of eight kites reached 31,955 feet (9,740 meters) in Lindenberg, Germany, in 1919. The earliest record of kites being used for meteorology comes from the University of Glasgow, where in 1749 two students, Alexander Wilson and Thomas Melville, wanted to measure conditions in the upper atmosphere. Since there were no airplanes or hot air balloons at the time, they used a kite.