Hidden treasures in the National Meteorological Archive

5 things you wouldn't expect to find in the National Meteorological Archive

This video introduces some of the treasures in our collections

Page from Albertus Magnus De Negotio (1290) by Met OfficeMet Office

A 13th Century manuscript

Albertus Magnus was an Austrian bishop with an interest in the natural sciences. This hand written copy of 'De negotio Naturali' (On Natural Business) dates to about 1290. 

Among other things, Magnus realised that raindrops must be completely spherical to create rainbows.

Sunny Jim Force Cereal Character (1911) by Met OfficeMet Office

Sunny Jim

Many important scientific measurements were taken during the ill fated Scott Polar expedition of 1911 - 1913.

The expedition meteorologist, George Clark Simpson, was nicknamed Sunny Jim for his resemblance to mascot from Force Cereal packets. 

Climate Return for Scarborough December 1914 (1914) by Met OfficeMet Office

The shelling of Scarborough - 16 December 1914

Scarborough, on the North East coast of England, was shelled by German naval vessels in the first attack on English civilians during the First World War.

The beginning and end of the attack were recorded in the Climate Return for Scarborough. 

Fabric of dress from Lightning Strike (1889) by Met OfficeMet Office

Struck by lightning

In the late 1800's scientists and meteorologists in the UK wanted to understand more about lightning strikes. 

Among the more unusual items collected was this fragment from the dress of a lady struck by lightning which was sent in because it still smelled of sulphur.

Page from the log of HMS Prince of Wales showing barogram and thermogram traces (1941) by Met OfficeMet Office

Sink the Bismark!

The great German battleship 'Bismark' was sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in 1941. 

The Prince of Wales was involved in the early stages of the attack and its barograph, which records air pressure change, recorded the vibrations created through the ship as it fired on Bismark. 

This video explores the 'Bismark' barogram in a more detail along with some of the other treasures in the Archive. 

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