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A Weather Curio


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

An early 20th century weather curiosity of German and Swiss popularity, the frog's ladder was used to predict the weather. It composed of keeping a green tree frog (Hyla Arborea) inside a jar half filled with water and a ladder.

The theory was the frog's behaviour in the jar would determine what the weather would turn out in the near future. For instance, if it was to remain on the ladder below the water line, bad weather was imminent. The higher up the ladder it was, the finer the weather was expected. If it starts croaking, a storm was imminent.

In its natural habitat, the frog would skip amongst the branches of trees catching insects. As winter approaches, the frog would descend to ground level amongst mud and leaves to see out the winter.

What the frog did in its natural state, it would mimic in the jar.

frog014.jpg

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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

And of course there was the Tempest Prognosticator.

A contemporary account of the invention described it as an "elaborate and highly ornate apparatus... evolved by a certain Dr. Merryweather (no epigram intended) who had observed that during the period before the onset of a severe storm, fresh water leaches tended to become particularly agitated. The learned Doctor decided to harness the physical energy of these surprisingly hysterical aquatic bloodsuckers to operate an early warning system. On the circular base of his apparatus he installed glass jars, in each of which a leech was imprisoned and attached to a fine chain that led up to a miniature belfry--from whence the tinkling tocsin would be sounded on the approach of a tempest."

The more bells that rang, the greater the likelihood of an impending storm

Merryweather.jpg

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