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Meteorological Work in Australia

Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review

Map No. 1—February 18th, 1890

Map No.2—January 14th, 1891

Map No.3—March 12th, 1891

Map No. 4, February 5th. 1890, and Map No .5, May 27th, 1893

Map No. 6, June 22nd, 1893

Map No. 7, July 14th, 1893

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Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review

Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review

By Sir C. Todd, K.C.M.G., M.A., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., Government Astronomer, Adelaide, S.A.

The object of the present paper is to place before the Association a brief and succinct account of meteorological work in Australia. Mr. Russell has already told us, in his interesting paper on astronomical and meteorological workers, read before the Association at its first meeting in Sydney in 1888, what had been done in the early days of the mother colony, and brings the history up to the year 1860, or immediately following the commencement of the active work of the new observatory completed in 1858, an establishment with which he has been associated during the past thirty-four years, and over which he has so honorably presided since his appointment as astronomer in 1870, on the death of Mr. Smalley in July of that year.

It is unnecessary that I should travel over the same ground. My intention is to carry on the history of which Mr. Russell has already given us the opening chapter. Indeed, as regards meteorology but little had been done before the advent of Mr. Scott, the first director of the Sydney Observatory, in 1858, who, Mr. Russell tells me, established twelve meteorological stations, two of which, Brisbane and Rockhampton, were in Queensland, then forming part of New South Wales. Each station was equipped with a standard barometer, dry and wet bulb thermometers, maximum and minimum thermometers, and a rain gauge.

Meteorological stations had previously—in 1840—been established at South Head, Port Macquarie, and Port Phillip, Victoria being then under the Government of New South Wales. The observations at South Head were kept up, but, I fear, not in a very satisfactory or systematic manner, for fifteen Years, or until 1855. At Port Phillip and Port Macquarie they are said to have been discontinued after six years. During Mr. Smalley's tenure of office several stations started by his Predecessor, for some eason or other probably owing to his bad health, were closed or allowed to fall into disuse. These were, however, speedily re-established by Mr. Russell: and I may here mention as showing the active manner in which that gentleman has prosecuted the work commenced by Mr. Scott, that he has now in addition to the Sydney Observatory thirty-five meteorological stations, having barometers, dry and wet bulb thermometers, maximum and minimum thermometers, and rain gauges; 139 stations furnished with thermometers and rain gauges; and 1,063 stations having rain gauges.

The Sydney Observatory is equipped with continuous self-recording barograph and thermograph pluviometer and anemograph, made after Mr. Russell's own designs, besides under-round thermometers at depths of 10ft., 5ft., 2ft. 6in., and 1in.; an evaporation tank, or atmometer. &c.; a record, combined with the valuable astronomical work being done, worthy of the oldest colony of the group, which had already gained distinction in its Promotion of science by the Dawes Point Observatory, erected in 1788, and the celebrated Paramatta Observatory, established in 1821 by Sir Thomas Brisbane.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dunlop, James; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Scott, William; Smalley, George Robarts; Todd, Charles

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Todd, C. 1893 'Meteorological Work in Australia: A Review' Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science vol. v, 1893, pp. 246-270.

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