Chapter

Weather Prophets and the Victorian Almanac

in Predicting the Weather

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780226019680
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226019703 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226019703.003.0003
Weather Prophets and the Victorian Almanac

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This chapter concentrates on the development of meteorology in the 1840s, a decade before the establishment of the Meteorological Department, and considers an energetic circle of popular weather prophets who shaped discussions about meteorology. Their influence leads to questions about publicity, reputation, and the changing circulation of scientific knowledge. Integrating popular weather prophets into the history of meteorology requires attention to the role of the almanacs, as a traditional but revitalized form of publication in this period. The story of the prophets and their almanacs shows how the marketplace, popular culture, and scientific authority took shape in British meteorology. Meteorologists and meteorological organizations from the 1840s on, whether they explicitly acknowledged it or not, worked in awareness of the lively popular tradition of weather prophecy and its distinctive form, the almanac.

Keywords: almanac; meteorology; Meteorological Department; weather prophets; scientific knowledge; Victorian society

Chapter.  16267 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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