Data in the Sky: Scientific Kites, Settler Masculinity, and Quantifying the Air
2023. "Data in the Sky: Scientific Kites, Settler Masculinity, and Quantifying the Air", Immeasurable Weather: Meteorological Data and Settler Colonialism from 1820 to Hurricane Sandy, Sara J. Grossman
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Chapter 3 follows data collection as it moves from the ground to the air through amateur weather kite tinkering along the Eastern Seaboard from 1880 to 1900, examining how aerial data exploration—through W. A. Eddy and others— depended on the cultures of masculine science and settler masculinities. The chapter outlines the ways that white masculinity extended US military dominance through formal and informal partnerships with male weather experimenters, as well as the ways print culture—exemplified through the New York Times and Scientific American—supported the formation of a settler-defined meteorological knowledge that was not only popular but also textual and graphical, white and male. These new media produced a national weather consciousness rooted in aerial technology and the promise of endless quantification of aerial space through the dominance of pictorial data.