Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Heat Wave of 1892

With the mention of the blizzard of 1888, I thought it only fitting to bring a little heat to the subject. So, today we have an excerpt of a heat wave that hit North America as well as other parts of the world in 1892. The source for this excerpt is "In the High Heavens" ©1894


DURING the course of the summer of 1892 the papers frequently described in sufficiently striking paragraphs the abnormally high' temperature which was experienced in many parts of the globe. The first tidings of this nature reached us from America. Thus we read that on the 29th of July the thermometer in the streets of New York had risen to as much as 101° and 102° in the shade. At the meteorological station in that city, where, no doubt, every precaution was adopted to insure accuracy in the record, we find that a temperature of 99° was indicated. The next day—July 30—the ascent of the mercury still continued, and we hear that an observation in the Fifth Avenue showed as much as 107° in the shade. This, however, seems to have been the culmination of what had been somewhat absurdly designated " the great heat-wave." On July 31 the warmth had begun perceptibly to decline, though it was still terribly oppressive.
The descriptions received from various parts of the North American continent show that the heat was almost, if not quite, as great in many other places as it was in New York. From north and south, from east and west, we heard of abnormally high thermometers; we were told that in many localities the work in factories had to be discontinued, as the hands could not stand the heat. In some towns business seems to have been temporarily suspended, and the traffic in the streets ceased during the hottest part of the day. It was also reported from many places that heavy losses were experienced by the death of sheep and cattle. Nor was the great heat-wave without-a tragic aspect. We read of a large number of cases of sunstroke occurring in various parts of America, many of which terminated fatally. 

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