Pat Shingleton: "Frog Ice and No A.C."
On this date in 1882, Dubuque Iowa’s Monthly Weather Review noted that “frog-hail” was recorded following a thunderstorm. Residents reported that melting hailstones disclosed small living frogs while larger chunks of ice also contained living frogs. The ice chunks measured between one and seventeen inches in diameter, varying from an inch to the size of baseballs and the biggest chunk weighed nearly two pounds. The Monthly Weather Review believed that the objects may not have been legitimate hailstones but a cluster of larger stones melted together. In Pontiac, Canada, in 1864, falling ice between an inch and two inches contained small frogs and in a town that no longer exists, Bovington, Mississippi, a six-by-eight inch gopher turtle fell from a thunderstorm, entirely encased in ice. In closing, if you're visiting from other parts of the country, sometimes it's hotter and steamier than this. Years ago, air-conditioning was limited to stores, offices and bars. Air conditioning today provides comfort in the car, bus, train, and jet, with numerous units for the house and office. Fifty years ago, keeping cool occurred by moving air and ventilation, courtesy of an electric fan. Older homes in our area included a 4-by-4 fan - in the attic, creating comfort, solely on the principle of circulation. With screened windows, a persistent draft of air would flow from room to room. The ceiling fan also enhanced the movement of air. By re-circulating the rising heat, this simple, time-tested device provided a downdraft of comfortable air to individual rooms.