"A Hail of An Idea!"
My friend, Lee Carney, with All-Star Automotive would love to find a means of eliminating hail. Over the years, many car dealers
have experienced hail damage on their lots. Of course, Kurt and Steve at Dent Medic of Baton Rouge seem to like a little hail now
and then, providing great service for dented vehicles. Luigi Bombicci was a minerologist in Bologna, Italy and in 1880 and believed
that hail could be prevented. His theory of "spherohedron" described the hailstone as a process of crystallization and to prevent the
development of hail, sound could be used. In 1896, Albert Steiger, Mayor of Windisch-Feistritz, Austria, made the first attempt to
defeat hail with the force of sound and did so by modifying a locomotive smokestack. He packed the smokestack with black powder
and directed the discharge directly into a thunderstorm. Witnessing this, Mayor Steiger professed that hail would no longer fall on
his fields and cannons were accepted. In 1907 the Italian Royal Academy of Sciences reported that tests of anti-hail cannons
weren't effective and were expensive and useless. By the early twentieth century, anti-hail cannons disappeared. Replacing the
cannons were anti-hail rockets that would explode 800 grams of dynamite, above the ground, to prevent hail formation. These
explosions caused cold core eddies that surround hail, pulverizing it. These rockets were in conflict with safety measures
implemented by civil aviation. In 1972, the Corballan Company of France marketed a new version of the hail cannon and
remains the largest manufacturer of the devices. The new cannons substitute acetylene for black powder, automatically load
and reload and are fired from remote locations.