Pat Shingleton: "Ben, Tom and Weather Obs"
In 1776, a systematic network of weather observations only included amateur weather observers scattered throughout the colonies. One of the observers was Benjamin Franklin who wrote and conducted weather experiments and theorized storm movements. Weatherwise Magazine reports that Thomas Jefferson was also an avid weather observer and for 50 years catalogued systematic records of temperature and related meteorological conditions; compiled at his home in Monticello and wherever he travelled. Historians report he broke his wrist in Paris in 1786 and continued his observations with his left hand. He owned one of only two barometers in America; purchasing 20 thermometers during his life. Archived records validate that he officially began his twice-a-day weather observations on Monday, July 1, 1776. Due to important matters on July 4th - afternoon readings were suspended.