Page 141
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

George Grant Bond



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10


Register of Marks




Contact us
Chapter 5

Long before these important events in his private life, George Bond had embarked upon the career that was to occupy all his working years. When he began work in the Brisbane Weather Office on the 13th April 1892, he was a slightly built youth of seventeen. His nervousness is demonstrated in the large copperplate signature that appears in the Office Attendance Book for that day, quite unlike the small free-flowing signature that appears only a few days later. He was doubtless in considerable awe of his new boss, Mr Clement Wragge, a man of great energy and enthusiasm, of whom Inigo Jones later wrote, 'In the Office he had a most intense manner, and was a martinet for precise and careful work'.[2] Obviously he demanded a high standard of efficiency from his four staff members.

Meteorology as a science was still in its infancy, not only in Queensland, where the Weather Office had been set up only in 1887, but also in the world. The weather has always been a topic of interest and conversation, especially to farmers and sailors whose lives are vitally affected by its vagaries, but it was only in the latter half of the nineteenth century that attempts to predict it were made. Two Sea-Captains, Robert Fitzroy of the Royal Navy, and the US Navy's Edward Maury, were pioneers in the field. Maury collected and collated weather information from log-books, and was instrumental in organising the first Meteorological Conference in Brussels in 1853. In the 1860s, Fitzroy, with the help of the British Government, set up a network of twenty-four reporting stations in Europe and England, from which weather reports were telegraphed to him in London. From these he compiled a 'Synoptic Chart' (giving it the name still used today) by joining with a line, places of the same barometric pressure. Thus he was able to determine the usual pattern of weather movement in the area, and to make predictions daily for the following day, with the primary aim of warning ships of the approach of bad weather. Although it was such a new and undeveloped country, Australia kept level with the Old World in the developing interest in meteorology. Fitzroy's method of predicting the weather was followed by several of the Government Astronomers in the Australian Colonies. Charles Todd in South Australia was also Postmaster General, and made it a duty of his widespread network of Telegraphic Operators to collect and dispatch weather observations, which were carefully recorded, and he prepared weather maps and published weather information. In New South Wales, Henry Russell, also the Government Astronomer, set up a similar system, kept weather records, and in 1877 published the first weather map to accompany his daily forecast. Melbourne's first weather map was published in the Argus in 1881.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant; FitzRoy, Robert; Jones, Inigo Owen; Maury, Matthew Fontaine; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Todd, Charles; Wragge, Clement Lindley

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

Spinks, D. and Haynes, I. 1986 'The Life of George Grant Bond Early Queensland Weather Forecaster', Metarch Papers, No. 3 October 1986, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher