Charles Eliet had a problem. He had a contract to build an engineering marvela suspension bridge over the Niagara River. But he had no way of stretching his first cable between the shores. Any boat that tried to cross the falls would be swept over. Then Eliet hit on an idea. If a kite carrying a cord could be flown across the river, the cord could then be used to pull larger cables across. So Eliet announced a kite-flying contest, and a young man named Homan Walsh responded. On Walshs first attempt the kites cord broke with it caught in the rivers ice, but on his next try he succeeded in flying his kite to the opposite shore of the river. The vital link was established, and the bridge built.