Pat Shingleton: "Early Observations"
In 1776, a systematic network of weather observations only included amateur weather observers that were scattered throughout the colonies. One of those observers was Benjamin Franklin who conducted a variety of weather experiments that included the examination of storm movements. Thomas Jefferson was also an avid observer and for 50 years cataloged systematic records of temperature and related meteorological conditions. At his home in Monticello and in his travels he archived numerous weather events. Historians note that he broke his wrist in Paris in 1786 and continued his observations with his left hand. He also owned one of only two barometers in America and purchased 20 thermometers during his life. Archives validate his daily observations that included a recording 76 degrees on July 4, 1776.