Pat Shingleton: "Hail Cannons"
Griffin Morgan conducted 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 .In 1907 the Italian Royal Academy of Sciences noted 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. The 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.
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