Letter by H C Russell, 20 February 1891
My dear Capt Short
By Steamer I am sending you
8 Raingauges at 7=₤2=1b=0
and 11 Raingauge glasses at ½ 0-12-10
cortagets steamer 0-1-2
total cost ₤ 3-10-0
I hope they will reach you in good order. I don’t know why; but the makers of the raingauges have been unusually slow this time although I had ordered 144 to be made for me.
The man here who used to make thermometers for me has given up: and I am obliged to send to Kew for them. They are perhaps better finished but they cost 20s each instead of 15s which I used to pay in Sydney.
I am glad to hear the Tide gauge is working well. The records will be useful & interesting to you; and also useful to H.M.S. ships.
Capt Frederick is very much interested in tides and he told me, that he would call upon you about tides at Hobart
The Hydrographer is very much interested in tides and perhaps more so since the great eruption of “Krakatoa” which sent tidal waves round the earth and for want of tide gauges in the Pacific it could not be traced as accurately as desired.
I suppose you are looking forward to the meeting of the A.A. for A.S at Hobart in Janry 1892 it will be a great treat or a great worry for you. as you take it. I generally find such things a worry because it gives one such a lot of extra work: with kind regards
Yours very truly
15th Dec 1890
Dear Mr Scott
I am sending you an interviewers report of a talk with Wragge a few days since I thought you would like to see It as an instance of the way to work a reviewer. The assumptions of authority and originality in working the Pacific Islands is charming seeing that you have been so long in that field and that I and others have been trying for 20 years past to get something done. without much success I grant you. but the reason is very obvious – the Climate is so enervating that Europeans get too lazy for meteorological observations.
We have sent instruments to Fiji Noumea Lord Howe and New Guinea and all the observers gave up excepting Lord Howe. On Tanna New Hebrides the Revd W Gray Missionary has some instruments of his own and sends his observations to me regularly. I do not know if you are aware that Capt Wharton Hydrographer is trying and with success to get the Tides recorded at some of the Islands and I have been lending a hand by getting the recording Tidegauges made here at moderate cost.
I dare say you have heard of Egeson’s departure. he got so insubordinate when his big draught did not come off that I was obliged to report him and he was dismissed.
He went on September 4. Since then I have not seen him. but am told he is going to publish a great weather almanac with detailed predictions for a year which I have no doubt an intelligent public at least that section of it; blessed with a full share of credulity will eagerly buy and pin their faith on.
In spite of the three years drought we are having the finest season for many years some say for 40 years. In Sydney we have had 80 inches or rain an amount never, but once exceeded in the 50 years over which our records extend.
Abercrombie is still here and is far from well. And recently I have had two visits from Douglas Archibald who is ……….. ………… upon Edison’s Phonograph-
Yours very truly
H C Russell
P.S. I have just received the second lot of thermometers 30 maximums. The first lot containing maximum & minimum was to have been delivered a month since but although the bill of lading came to hand by post when the steamer got there the thermometers were nowhere to be found. I suppose they had been left behind at the Docks. The 30 maxes are in first rate condition.