Pat Shingleton: "Hail Blasting"
Tuesday's column noted Griffin Morgan's research on the use of cannons in preventing hail damage to crops. Luigi Bombicci was a minerologist in Bologna, Italy and in 1880, 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.