Founding Day

2017-10-15 16:12:32.000 – Mount Washington Observatory Staff, Weather Observer


It’s founding day! What does that mean? Well, it is the day that we at the Mount Washington Observatory celebrate the beginning (founding) of our organization. And this year, it’s a big one! Today we celebrate 85 years up on the summit!

While scientists embarked for a summit expedition in the 1870s, and the Signal Corps maintained a presence on the summit through 1892, it wasn’t until 1932 that Bob Monahan, Sal Pagliuca, Alex MacKenzie, and Joe Dodge set up a permanent presence on the summit. Using funds obtained from a research grant and a few private donors, the Mount Washington Observatory was formally established, with a mission of advancing the understanding of weather, climate, and the mountain itself.


Photo 1. Original four observers

Just two years later, on April 12, 1934 the Observatory captured what was then the fastest surface wind speed ever observed by man, at 231 mph. This thrust Mount Washington into the spotlight, and highlighted the value in having a mountaintop weather station that was continually performing research and taking weather observations.

To this day, we continue taking hourly weather observations, and are proud to say we have expanded on the initial reach of the observatory, offering connections to classrooms, weather station tours, and programs at our Weather Discovery Center in North Conway!


Photo 2. Present day observers

While we at the Observatory are extremely proud to celebrate our rich 85-year history, it is only a fraction of what makes the day so special. None of it would have been possible without the support of our members! Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in making the Observatory what it is today, we genuinely couldn’t do it without you!


Mount Washington Observatory Staff, Weather Observer

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