2, 1945, I celebrated the 39th anniversary of my entry into
the Weather Bureau. Before I entered the Bureau in Nashville,
Tenn., in 1906, my somewhat varied activities had included
working in a steel plant, selling life insurance, and teaching
school for several years. ( It is my observation that the
last named vocation seems to have been followed by quite
a few weathermen at one time or another.)
to go back to my earlier pre-Bureau days. I was born near
Easton, Pennsylvania, on April 16, 1879. After graduating
from high school and completing a year of preparatory school,
I found it necessary to go to work, so never entered college.
After entering the Bureau, I began to rue the fact that
part of my four years spent studying Latin, and three Greek,
in high school and preparatory school hadn’t been
added to the time spent there on mathematics and physics.
This regret – and my familiarity with math and physics
– was increased materially by dint of a good deal
of digging on the Bureau’s promotion examinations.
those days those of us who did not have a college diploma
were required to pass a set of examinations in order to
become eligible for each grade promotion. $720. $1000, $1200….
and then, when a man was well acquainted with secant and
cosecant and could explain the earth’s wobble and
show that he clearly understood precession of the equinoxes
and a number of other things, he landed the princely salary
of $1440 per annum.
there were other compensations. The variety of activities
carried on by the Bureau held the interest of many of us.
entering the Bureau I have made observations, drawn maps,
done some printing and much chalk plate work. For the benefit
of newer employees who don’t know how the bunions
on the third finger right hand , of a number of their seniors
came about, weather maps were at one time printed by the
chalk plate method, which involved cutting the data with
a steel stylus on a thin (about 1/16”) coating of
chalk on a steel plate of about the same thickness, and
from this chalk dye making a stereotyped metal cast from
which the maps were printed. While doing chalk plate work,
I introduced a method by which the small 8 X 10 map was
produced in two colors and at the same time the daily labor
cut to less than half.
phases of Bureau work in which I have engaged are climatology,
river forecasting, broadcasting and administration. Stations
at which I have served while with the Bureau, in addition
to Nashville, are Ithaca, Philadelphia, Cheyenne, and lastly
Raleigh, where I landed in 1916 and where I have been in
charge since 1939.
and singing have been my great delight. Especial favorites
have been oratorio, cantata and Gilbert and Sullivan light
opera. I have done solo work in music of these types with
local choruses in Cheyenne and Raleigh.
October 1906, I was married to Anna L. Bachman of Pennsylvania.
One of our two daughters, Mildred, is teaching Bible in
high school; the other, Betty, who is now Mrs. James Gerow,
shares my interest in music. She plays pipe organ and her
husband is an accomplished trumpet soloist. I share pretty
enthusiastically her interest in my two grandsons Jimmie
Gerow, aged 5, and David, aged 2.
“The BREEZE”, Vol. 2, No. 6, July 10, 1945.
Herbert E. Kichline, 64, with the Weather Bureau at Raleigh
WBO since 1916, died at his home December 19, following
a lingering illness.
services were conducted at the Michell Funeral Home by Dr.
F. Orio Mixon, pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Members of the Senior Board of Deacons of the Church served
as pallbearers. Interment was at Easton, Pa., Mr. Kichline’s
going to Raleigh, Mr. Kichline was with the Bureau in Nashville,
Ithaca, Philadelphia, and Cheyenne.
“The BREEZE”, Vol. 2, No. 12, January 10, 1946.