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Joe Dodge Collection Photo Gallery

These photos are some of the many historical slides archived and preserved within the Gladys Brooks Memorial Library located at the Weather Discovery Center.

Weather Room
The interior of the Mount Washington summit stage office, home to the Observatory for most of the period from the fall of 1932 (when the Observatory was first established) into 1937, when a separate Observatory building was constructed. Visible are an array of instruments and instrument parts, including anemometer cups and masts. The weather map on the wall appears to be marked for March 16, but the year is not clear -- probably circa 1933 or 1934.

Aerosonde Launch
An aerosonde balloon run, presumably from the mid 1930's. An observer holds a balloon in readiness for launch. The balloon's flight would be tracked via the theodolite (a device, commonly used for surveying, which incorporates aspects of a telescope and a compass). The balloon runs yielded important information about upper level winds. Due to the sometimes tortuous circulation of winds about the mountain, the balloons could follow currents below the elevation of the summit before ascending again many miles away.

Stage Office
The summit stage office, the usual home to the Observatory from 1932 to 1937. Note the heavy encrustation of the building with rime ice (frozen fog), and the rime-covered chains helping secure the building to the summit rocks. It's hard to date this photo exactly, but normally during its stint as home to the Observatory it would feature a thermometer shack attached to the gable end, which suggests that this photo is pre 1932 or post 1937.

Gathering the Precipitation Can
An observer swaps precipitation cans in a shielded gauge. The precipitation can collects rain, snow, and other precipitation, which is collected by the observers for measurement on a regular basis (currently, this is done every 6 hours). In the background can be seen the rime-covered, stone-walled TipTop House, and the summit water tower. Since TipTop had a parapet attached to its west end in 1946, and this photo seems to lack the parapet, the photo presumably dates from before 1946.

Snow Cores
Observers taking cores of the snow pack. The core would then be weighed on the scale hanging from the tripod. Measurements yielded information about snow density and water content.

The roof of the summit stage office, with Number 1 and Number 2 Mann anemometer visible. Their masts, and supporting guy lines, are covered with rime ice. These anemometers were specifically designed for Mount Washington's extremes of wind and icing, and were manufactured by the Mann Instrument Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts, inspired by an experiemntal Norwegian anemometer. This photo dates from the period 1933-1937.

Alex McKenzie
Observer Alex McKenzie checking Eppley pyroheliometer near the summit-end of the Cog Railway trestle, circa 1932-1934. The pyrheliometer records solar radiation -- usually diminished due to the typical fog and cloud cover on the summit. The post on which the instrument is placed sports a heavy coating of rime ice. Rime builds into the wind, indicating that the winds at the time of icing were blowing from left to right.

Observers examining an instrument set at the summit-end of the Cog Railway trestle, circa 1932-1934. Visible on top are the cups of a three-cup anemometer; beneath the anemometer is a wind direction vane.

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