Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An anecdote from another observation

It appears that the government was able to select very reliable individuals who observed for long periods of time. In science this is important, so that even if idiosyncracies happen, they are consistent idiosyncracies and can be traced and accounted for by those who receive reports.

Lovecraft was one of those individuals, and it's notable that in a metropolis like Providence with many choices, it was HE who was selected. {Does one see the gentle hand of Winslow Upton?}

In comparative history, one tries to select incidences that illuminate the trials of the event. Sadly, history chooses arbitrarily what data it gives as the fortunes of time erode references and sources vanish. However, this story is interesting, and coincides somewhat with Lovecraft's time period. It illuminates what may have happened to Lovecraft - and the ever present pressure of taking daily observations.


Observations after Fort Ripley closed in 1877

After the post closed in 1877 there was a desire to continue observations in someform at Fort Ripley. In August 1887 a river and rainfall station began with C.B. Clouse asthe observer. His location was most likely at the new town of Fort Ripley located justacross the river. The forms used were (Form No. 180-1887) Beginning in 1894 form 1009was used. His last observation was on May 31, 1895. There is a gap until the nextobservations began with J.J. Tucker in June 1906. This new site was a full cooperativestation with max/min thermometers, a rain gauge and a river gauge. During the early years some problems were noticed with the minimum thermometer.

Clarence A. Tucker (The son of J.J Tucker took over in May 1914 and continued to November 1918. Then Irving R. Tucker and his mother were the observers beginning inNovember 1918. A note on the June 14, 1926 inspection reports notes: “Minimum thermometer elevated at the bulb about 40 degrees and there were a number of separationsin the alcohol column.

Minimum temperature record not reliable and should not be used. The length of time the thermometer has been out of ordercould not be determined from the observer. A new shelter and support would be required ifrecords continue long, but the present it is likely the Mother of the Observer, who is thecooperative observer will resign.”

Apparently Irving Tucker decided to keep the station going for the next 27 years and was the observer until September 1953. However,thermometer measurements ceased on December 31, 1928

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