View of J. W. Smith
station" there were some amusing experiences and a few very
unusual ones. One of the former was experienced by my predecessor
at a small southwestern station at Corsicana, Texas. He told
me that soon after establishing his station he was waited on
by a committee, appointed by dissatisfied citizens on account
of the very unsatisfactory weather conditions caused by the
meteorological instruments as there had been no such weather
before "them things were set on the roof." All the explanations
that could be made proving unsatisfactory, the official suggested
they adjourn to the cafe over the way for further discussion,
where it cost our man about $25 for sufficient refreshments
to convince the committee that the weather instruments were
not at fault.
Even in the
early days of the service, visitors often came to see how the
weather was made, particularly at stations in large towns and
cities. More than a few times I have heard surprise expressed
at the small size of the instruments, their insignificance.
Quitet a few expected to see quite massive machinery laboring,
groaning and belching, for as they thought devices that could
record great gales, hurricanes, and storms must be large and
complex. Visitors have so stated to me, and expressed disappointment
at the quiet, silent method in which the instruments do their
work. Few after seeing and having the instruments explained
would fully comprehend them.
ago we carefully explained the equipment to quite a distinguished
looking party, several persons, and on finishing the story of
the wind register, anemometer, etc., the head of the party,
as I remember a minister, in commenting said "well it's wonderful
how the winds come down those wires and make the records," to
which we readily agreed, as more talk was useless.
have been met in all parts where we have served, mostly those
who could make much better forecasts than those of the Bureau.
One in particular, with considerable local reputation, whose
forecasts were often printed by the local papers came to the
office for a chat, during which I inquired as to his theories,
methods, instruments, etc., if any to which he replied, "Oh,
I have none, don't need any; my grandmother could tell the weather,
and in the same way I can tell it."