I have a small collection of early Weather Bureau instruments, equipment, log books, journals, and observations. All of these were purchased on eBay except for one radiosonde that I kept from my days in the United States Air Force.
First, I would like to share with you a piece of history involving the dissemination of forecasts. We must remember that there has not always been The Weather Channel, or the nightly weather on our local TV station, or on our cellphone. The early Weather Bureau used numerous methods to get the forecast into the hands of the public. I’ve got a collection of artifacts and a collection of postcards (shown on another page) that show the various methods used. Click on this link to see the collection:
Second, my favorite set of artifacts includes Weather Bureau station journals, observations of a dedicated citizen, and Weather Bureau forms.
The journals detail the behind-the-scenes workings at the Weather Bureau office in Dallas, Texas. The two journals cover the time from the stations opening in 1913 to its closing in 1953. The journals not only show the coming and going of observers but they also record the administrative events needed to keep a station functional.
Also part of this collection are the journals that contain daily observations taken over a forty year period in Sweetwater, Texas. During this period not one observation was missed, an incredible dedication of Mr. M. C. Manroe. I checked with the local historic society but they have no information about Mr. Manroe. The station was never a recognized Weather Bureau cooperative station. In fact, there was never an official station in Sweetwater. We know the name of the observer and name of his employer but we don’t know the location of the actual observations. Nor do we know the type instruments used and their placement. I have compared the Sweetwater observations with data from close stations and there seems to be some general agreement. However Mr. Manroe’s maximum temperatures seem a bit high.
There are also samples of Weather Bureau forms used in recording or reporting observations. These forms include one to report snow depth and a multi-page “booklet” used to record daily observations. Click on this link to see the collection:
Third, I have a small number of early Weather Bureau instruments and equipment. Most of the items are quite familiar to the weather community. But the operation a Wheatstone Bridge is a mystery to me. I’ve got a collection of other memorabilia as well. There are books, brochures, and other crazy weather related stuff. Click on this link to see the collection: