Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG

FEATURE ARTICLE

Revolutionary Minds

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison participated in a small "revolution" against British weather-monitoring practices

Susan Solomon, John S. Daniel, Daniel L. Druckenbrod

Figure%201.%20Modern%20weather%20station%20at%20MonticelloClick to Enlarge ImageThomas Jefferson's scientific curiosity and accomplishments are well known, but his close friend, James Madison, has not achieved equivalent notoriety. In the late 1700s, as the pair crafted the documents that would form the basis of a new democracy, they also recorded temperatures twice daily, at dawn and 4:00 p.m. Initially, they followed the guidelines of the Royal Society and placed their instruments in an unheated room on the north side of their homes. Madison, however, having noted ice outside when the temperature inside remained above freezing, moved his thermometer to the porch on February 10, 1787. Jefferson didn't follow suit until 1803, but the record the two generated thereafter closely matches more-recent measurements at the Charlottesville, Virginia, area weather stations located between their plantations. A second revolution was complete.


 Go to Article


comments powered by Disqus
 

EMAIL TO A FRIEND :

Subscribe to American Scientist