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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Weather Kiosk

Weather Kiosk

GRHC - September 19th, 2012

An automatic weather station, provided by the United States Weather Bureau, was installed in Monument Park in 1913.


Grand Rapids received an automatic weather station courtesy of the United States Weather Bureau in 1913. Placed at the eastern point of Monument Park, pedestrians could read the meteorological data and statistics from recording instruments through plate glass windows.

The kiosk, an ornamental structure, was four feet square and nine feet in height. Made of solid cast iron and plate glass, it sat on a solid granite base. The instruments included an ordinary thermometer as well as a wet thermometer, which determined the degree of humidity. An instrument known as a hygrometer, automatically showed the degree of humidity at all times. The government also installed a mechanical barograph that drew a line registering barometric variations as they occurred.

Openings in the roof admitted precipitation and each one-hundredth of an inch was recorded. The recording gauge made a permanent record on a ruled indicator card so that the exact time the rain began and stopped, as well as the total precipitation, could be determined at a glance.

On another face of the shelter the daily official weather map was displayed. The kiosk was a completely automatic weather bureau station. It lacked just one instrument, the wind direction and velocity-recording device.

Weather Bureau Director Schneider said, “The government installed these kiosks and instruments to popularize the weather bureau. With the instruments right before their eyes people will consider the weather bureau service in a new light.”

Full Details

TitleWeather Kiosk
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; history; US Weather Bureau; instruments; measurements
Pubdate StringSeptember 19th, 2012

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