University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Haywood, Carl N. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume 75 (1987)

Moran, Joseph M.; Somerville, E. Lee
Nineteenth-centrury temperature record at Fort Howard, Green Bay, Wisconsin,   pp. 79-89 PDF (4.4 MB)


Page 84

Fig. 3. The waters of Green Bay likely moderated temperatures at Fort Howard
on those days when regional winds were light or calm. But the Bay's moderating
influence probably had little effect on monthly and annual mean temperatures.
(Lithograph courtesy of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.) 
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters84 
visited Fort Snelling in 1823, described the thermometer as "a glass
tube
attached to a brass plate, on which the graduation was marked" and which
was made by "a Mr. Fisher of Philadelphia who sustains a high reputation
as a manufacturer of that instrument." D. J. Warner, Curator of the
History
of Physical Sciences, The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian
Institution, advises us (personal communication, 1986) that the Philadelphia
city directories from 1793 to 1814 list Martin Fisher (1766—1826)
as
a thermometer maker. In 1816, he was joined by his son, Joseph Fisher (ca.
1795-1864), who continued the business until 1853. According to Warner, Fisher
thermometers were "well regarded" although currently there are
none in the
museum's collection. 
 It is reasonable to assume that at beast during the 1820s and 1830s, the
Army Medical Department supplied all army posts with the same model thermometer,
that is, a Fisher thermometer. If this assumption is correct and if Fisher's
reputation as an instrument maker is justified, then we can also assume that
Font Howard's thermometer was accurate. Resting on such indirect evidence,
however, this assumption is necessarily tentative. 
 Since August 1949 official National Weather Service instruments for Green
Bay have been located at Austin Straubel Airport. (Previously, they were
at downtown sites.) The airport is situated in a mural area of gently rolling
terrain about 10 km southwest of the Font Howard site. All other factors
being equal, the airport's 


Go up to Top of Page