Archive for the ‘weather’ Category


Still No Danger From Jack Frost

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 24, 1903

Still No Danger From Jack Frost

Second Visit By the Unwelcome Stranger to this Vicinity

Tender Plants Are Touched

Every Day of Freedom From Killing Cold Means More Prosperity

An iceman once sold
Bits of ice, small and cold,
And charged for them
Their weight in gold.
At last he died,
And in torment cried,
“What wouldn’t I give
For that ice again.”

Mr. J. Frost made his second visit to Fort Dodge Wednesday night. from what can be learned by those who arose early enough to observe traces of his visit, he did not make a very lasting impression. A well known man whose word is never doubted, made the statement this morning, that but very little if any damage had been done. He also stated that the thermometer had registered but 34 at the lowest point during the early morning hours, and the frost had not done any damage on the high places and where there was shelter. On some of the low places about the city there was evidences of frost but not of a damaging character. Some of the more tender plants and vines showed traces of damage, but the more hardy varieties of vegetables and plants were not damaged.

A very favorable indication for fair weather and no frost tonight, is the friendly quarter in which the wind shifted this morning, being in the southeast. Every bright day means more prosperity for northern Iowa and incidentally Fort Dodge. It means more ground turned over by the farmers, more vegetables in the gardens, more fall pasturing for the feeders, more work for the man with the dinner pail, more building and improvements, and incidentally hands a sassy swipe to the coal trust.


How to Keep the House Cool

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 4, 1905

How to Keep the House Cool

Suggestions on How to Be Comfortable During the Summer Heat.

Close Doors in the Day Time

What to Do With The Children – Allow Them to Play in the Water Says President of New York Board of Health.

With the advent of hot weather the problem in every home is how to keep cool and comfortable as possible. Heat is always trying, energy and spirits flag, children may grow cross, while older people develop bad cases of “nerves.”

With care and judgment the house can be kept comparatively cool by throwing open every door and window after sunset leaving as many as possible open all night, then closing them again as the air grows hot and stifling in the morning. If this is systematically attended to the burden of the midsummer heat can be perceptibly lessened. The cellar particularly should be subjected to this daily treatment but when left open at night protest with coarse wire gratings the windows as a matter of safety.

Dabble in Water.

The latest suggestion for keeping the children cool and healthy is to let them dabble in water just as much as they please. “Almost everybody can place a big washtub full of cool water in the middle of the room and there let the children splash to their hearts’ content during the heat of the say,” says the president of the New York board of health. “Let the girls wash their dolls and the boys sail their boats and nobody should scold them. They should be stripped to their abdominal flannel bandages and the parents need have no fear of their youngsters catching cold.”

A further suggestion from a mother who has tried this plan for her little man last summer, during which time he never ate or slept better and never had a fretful moment, is to dissolve a cupful of sea salt in the tub of bath water. This has a distinct tonic effect while a layer of white sea sand on the bottom of the tub prevents slipping and feels comfortable to the little toes. This ocean tub may be set under the shade of a tree or in the house, first spreading a square of oilcloth if there be any danger of injuring the carpet.

For both children and adults a frequent sponging of the body with cool water is advocated together with absolute rest in the hottest part of the day and the avoidance of stimulating edibles and liquids.


Record Breaking Weather Today

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 17, 1905

Record Breaking Weather Today

Sunday Was The Hottest Day in Two Years and is Equalled (sic) Today

97 Government Thermometer

The Finest Thing For Iowa Corn That Could Happen – Heat is Terriffic (sic) In The City – Asphalt Pavings Become Very Soft, Being Cooked by Sun.

To suffering humanity in Fort Dodge the news that the weather record for two years has been broken in the last two days will not be surprising. How many more years’ records are broken are not known as the local observatory was only established two years ago. The temperature Sunday afternoon reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit on this government thermometer which is located in about as cool a place as there is in this city.

The thremometer (sic) is located in a hollow back of Tobin college and is then protected by a small building. Thus it is “in the shade” and further more it is official. The day was the hottest that has been recorded since the local weather station was established and as today is very hot again this record may be broken before nightfall.

At one o’clock Sunday the government thermometer registered a little below 96 degrees. Before the day was over the temperature crept up to 97. A few minutes before 1 o’clock today the thermometer registered 96 degrees Fahrenheit and from indications will go higher.

A cooling breeze seems to have sprung up at 3 o’clock and maybe there will be relief for the city inhabitants. Fort Dodge was not the only place that received the high marks in temperature for in the entire Des Moines district the rise in temperature was very noticeable.

It is the finest weather for the Iowa corn crop that could occur and the present weather is worth many thousands of dollars each day to Webster county farmers alone.

The asphalt paving and in particular that laid the last year has become very soft because of the heat. A person can dent the paving with the heel of the shoe, while the horseshoes leave marks every day.

(Editor’s note: I will include an additional article from other parts of the country. This was next to the Fort Dodge article, on the same day.)


Twelve Die From Heat in Chicago

The Mercury is 93 in Shade and Twelve Deaths Are Reported.

Chicago, July 17 – Noon, mercury 93 in the shade; twelve deaths from heat.

New York, July 17 – The hot wave which caused many deaths in New York last week and which only ended yesterday returned again today bringing higher temperature than ever before and a renewal of intense suffering.


May Mean a New Factory

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 7, 1903

May Mean a New Factory

I.C. Lovejoy of Callender Invents Tornado Barometer.

So Constructed that Bell Will Ring When Tornado Approaches – Hopes to Manufacture it Here.

Fort Dodge may have a new factory if the plans of Prof. I.C. Lovejoy of Callender, for the manufacture of a tornado barometer, are fulfilled. The Callender Times has the following:

Prof. I.C. Lovejoy, who for the past two years has had charge of the Callender schools, has constructed what he is pleased to call a tornado barometer, and which promises to some day be considered a household necessity. Of course, so far as the barometer itself goes it is probably no better than any other, but Mr. Lovejoy has succeeded in so constructing an electrical attachment that should a tornado come within a radius of 200 miles of the barometer, a bell will ring and keep ringing until the danger is past, or until the tornado has passed beyond this territory.

Besides determining when  a tornado is within 200 miles, he can change the mercury in the tube so that it will not give warning until the tornado is within ten or fifteen miles, or any desired distance between ten and 200 miles. The barometer also gives the change of weather, etc.

With one of these in your home no one need be afraid to retire at night when a storm is approaching, or sit watching the storm for feat some dangerous cloud may prove a tornado. The little barometer will warn you in time for you to find the cellar or cave.

Prof. Lovejoy informs us that probably in another year he will open a factory for the manufacture of these instruments, and says probably he will locate the factory at Fort Dodge. He has several other scientific instruments he is working on besides the barometer which promise to become quite popular.


Bees Starve in Their Hives

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 11, 1903

Bees Starve in Their Hives

Cold and Wet Weather is Likely to Be Responsible for Failure of Honey Crop.

Bees are Unable to Be Busy.

Ernest Bernschein, of This City, Has Lost Over 140 Colonies Valued at $700, As Rsult of the Inclement Weather.

Ernest Bernchein (sic), Fort Dodge’s apiarist reports that the conituned (sic) rain and cold weather of the past month is ruining the Iowa honey crop and killing off hundreds of swarms of bees. Mr. Bernschein himself has lost over 140 colonies valued at 4700. He predicts that if the wet weather continues the Iowa honey crop will be a failure this year.

During the cold damp weather the bees are unable to extract the nectar from the blossoms. For this reason when many of the hives are opened, the busy little inhabitants are found upon the verge of starvation; the bees having obtained little nourishment since last July.

The bees are now supposed to be taking advantage of the sweet clover which abounds in the vicinity of Fort Dodge and laying up many pounds of honey but for once they are doing nothing as the clover is too wet to extract much of the honey. In order to keep the remaining colonies alive Mr. Bernschein is resorting to an expensive method of feeding them sweetened water. In less than two hours Wednesday afternoon six gallons of this was drunk by Mr. Bernschein’s honey giving insects. This was the first year that Mr. Bernschein has resorted to this method of keeping his bees alive.

Mr. Bernschein has one hundred colonies left and if a favorable change occurs in the weather seventy-five pound of honey may be averaged from these swarms making all 60,000 pounds of honey, but this would be a very short crop. Honey will probably sell for twenty-five cents a pound this year. Last year with a favorable crop it brought twenty cents. It is expected that the inclement weather will boom the price skyward.

(Editor’s note: This inflation calculator says that 25 cents in 1903 is equivalent to $5.99 in 2010 dollars.)


Town Topics

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 12, 1907

Town Topics

The six weeks reign of the groundhog is drawing to a close. The Candlemas day phophecy (sic) has been remarkable for its nonfulfillment this year and hereafter the doubting Thomases will be more clamorous than ever in declaring that the conditions of that day have nothing to do with the settling of the weather for the six weeks to come.

■ ■ ■

When the sun is permitted to have a clear course in a blue sky these days, puffy little yellow clouds are seen going in no particular direction, bobbin up and down like a boy’s kite with not enough of bobs to held (sic) it in a dignified position.

That’s March for you.

It’s the breaking up time of Winter and while seasons change and the doings of the weather seems to be in strange variance with the programme (sic) of years ago, March is the same old windy month it always was, and so for its steady habits it deserves public respect.