Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/27

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
23
THE METEOROLOGY OF THE FUTURE

and is a splendid educator. This map gives us the facts, even though the best of us often fail to perceive what they mean and what they foretell.

And right here I must remind you that this system of daily telegrams, with its maps and forecasts owes its origin and subsequent perfection almost entirely to the citizens of the city and the state of New York. New York City has always been the home of meteorologists, just as our bay with its sailing vessels and steamships has always been filled with the bravest of sailors and navigators. Others besides Hudson and Fulton, Stevens and Ericsson, Cyrus Field and Wm. H. Webb have helped to make the fame of New York and the Hudson.

Here lived W. C. Bedfield, whose busy life as a merchant did not prevent him from collecting the logs of ships and studying all the characteristics of storms at sea. For forty years he devoted his leisure hours to this work, publishing one research after another from New York City, until the whole world understood that hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are whirlwinds, revolving and progressing as a whole, moving slowly along paths that carry them from equatorial toward polar regions; that our own hurricanes move westward and northward over the West Indies into our south Atlantic and gulf states and thence north and east along our coasts to northern Europe.

Here lived Elias Loomis, teaching meteorology and astronomy for many years as a professor at the New York University, and studying the storms of the land.

Here lectured James P. Espy, a native of Pennsylvania, who, with inimitable eloquence and enthusiasm defended his great discoveries that a cloud must contain the heat that was originally consumed in the evaporation of the water; that the moist air by rising had cooled by expansion down to its dew point; that the condensation into cloud caused latent heat to be set free.

Here, and in the northern part of our state, we had B. F. Hough at Lowville, who gave us our best studies of the New York climate and our first stimulating reports on the importance of forestry.

Our dear New York, the youthful city of a century ago, was the home of Professor Samuel F. B. Morse, artist and inventor, whose enthusiasm triumphed over the difficulties in the way of perfecting the electro-magnetic telegraph, and made it possible for our great national weather bureau to carry on its work expeditiously and economically.

At Albany Professor Joseph Henry, the father of the electromagnetic telegraph, maintained the importance of the study of the atmosphere. In 1847, when he was called from Princeton to become the secretary and brains of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, he immediately arranged with the telegraph companies for telegrams, displayed them on daily weather maps and demonstrated the possibility of forecasting storms and weather.