Today in Smithsonian History: November 1, 1840
This image is of a painting by Louise Rochon Hoover, titled, “Professor Henry Posts Daily Weather Map in Smithsonian Institution Building, 1858.” Joseph Henry, the first Smithsonian Secretary, is depicted showing visitors the weather map displayed in the Smithsonian Institution Building and updated every day. This painting was one of nine by different artists commissioned by the Smithsonian to illustrate events in Smithsonian history for the Smithsonian exhibit at the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition in 1933.
November 1, 1840 Circular on Meteorology, by Secretary Joseph Henry and James P. Espy is published. They announce the establishment of a system of meteorological observations, focusing on American storms, and request those interested in volunteering as observers to contact the U.S. Navy Department. Secretary Henry proposes to use the magnetic telegraph to notify distant observers of approaching storms. The system of telegraphic dispatches of weather conditions will begin the next year. This program leads to the foundation of the National Weather Service.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives
Posted: 1 November 2017