Sie sind auf Seite 1von 29

You are here: About> Education >Chemistry> Everyday Chemistry>

Weird Science> Fitzroy's Storm Glass - Weather Chemistry


Fitzroy's Storm Glass

From Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.,
Your Guide to Chemistry.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Weather Instrument Used on Darwin's Beagle

Admiral Fitzroy (1805-1865), as commander of HMS Beagle, participated in the Darwin
Expedition from 1834-1836. In addition to his naval career, Fitzroy did pioneer work in
the field of meteorology. The Beagle's instrumentation for the Darwin Expedition
included several chronometers as well as barometers, which Fitzroy used for weather
forecasting. The Darwin Expedition also was the first voyage under sailing orders that
the Beaufort wind scale be used for wind observations.
One type of barometer used by Fitzroy was a storm glass. Observing the liquid in the
storm glass was supposed to indicate changes in the weather. If the liquid in the glass
was clear, the weather would be bright and clear. If the liquid was cloudy, the weather
would be cloudy as well, perhaps with precipitation. If there were small dots in the
liquid, humid or foggy weather could be expected. A cloudy glass with small stars
indicated thunderstorms. If the liquid contained small stars on sunny winter days, then
snow was coming. If there were large flakes throughout the liquid, it would be overcast
in temperate seasons or snowy in the winter. Crystals at the bottom indicated frost.
Threads near the top meant it would be windy. Take a look at the notes Fitzroy
compiled on use of the barometer and thermometer.
Here are instructions for constructing a storm glass, described by Pete Borrows in
response to a question posted on, attributed to a letter published in
the June 1997 School Science Review.
Ingredients for Storm Glass
2.5 g potassium nitrate
2.5 g ammonium chloride
33 mL distilled water
40 mL ethanol
10 g camphor
Dissolve the potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride in the water; add the ethanol;
add the camphor. Place in corked test tube.
Mark Ford, who has been making storm glasses for years, e-mailed me to add that
man-made camphor, while very pure, does contain borneol as a by product of the
manufacturing process. His experience is that the synthetic camphor doesn't work as
well as natural camphor, perhaps because of the borneol.
Mr. Ford advises dissolving the nitrate and ammonium chloride in the water, then the
camphor in the ethanol. Next, slowly mix the two solutions (adding the nitrate &
ammonium solution to the ethanol solution works best). It also helps to warm the
solution to ensure complete mixing. Mr. Ford never uses a cork, preferring to seal the
mixture in small glass tubes.
No matter what method is selected to construct a storm glass, the reader is advised to
use proper care in handling the chemicals.

The premise of the functioning of the storm glass is that temperature and pressure
affect solubility, sometimes resulting in clear liquid; other times causing precipitants to
form. The functioning of this type of storm glass is not fully understood. In similar
barometers, the liquid level, generally brightly colored, moves up or down a tube in
response to atmospheric pressure. Certainly temperature affects solubility, but sealed
glasses are not exposed to the pressure changes that would account for much of the
observed behavior. Some people have proposed that surface interactions between the
glass wall of the barometer and the liquid contents account for the crystals.
Explanations sometimes include effects of electricity or quantum tunneling across the
Italian mathematician/physicist Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo, invented the
barometer in 1643. Torricelli used a column of water in a tube 34 ft (10.4 m) long. Storm
glasses available today are less cumbersome, easily mounted on a wall.
More Links

Snowflake Questions & AnswersHow Temperature Affects BatteriesSample Pressure

Recent Discussions

Need help with reactionsBohr modelsplease help!

Elsewhere on the Web

Admiral Fitzroy's RemarksThe Voyage of the BeagleRobert Fitzroy

Our Story | Be a Guide | Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | Site Map |
Reprints | Help
User Agreement | Ethics Policy | Patent Info. | Privacy Policy
2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.

Owl Technologies







Owl Technologies is currently developing a range of products, as they become available they
will be included on this page.

Storm Glass
A beautiful hand crafted Storm Glass.
The glass dome measuring 80mm (3.2
inches) in diameter and 140mm (5.5
inches) high is fixed to a polished
mahogany base giving it an overall height of
150mm (6 inches).
Retail price
AUS$199.00 or US$150.00 approx

Order Now

2004 Owl Technologies | Contact Us | Designed by Discount Domain Name Services.

Now earn up to $10 off your next
purchase with AhoyCaptain's new Loyalty
Rewards Coupons. Redeem these
coupons at checkout to receive Instant
Savings on your favorite boating supplies
and more.
Click here to learn more




Gift Ideas Bargain Bin

Contact Us

The Storm Glass by

Weems and Plath
$129.99 $98.95 Captain's Price!
Available in Brass or Chrome
Brass - ES 55 01 01

Qty 1

Hook Sold Separately

This mysterious weather predictor has been used since 1750. Admiral Fitzroy, the famous sailor
and meteorologist, used the Stormglass aboard the HMS Beagle during his historic voyage with
After 250 years, how the Stormglass works is still a mystery, but it is
believed that it has to do with the electromagnetic changes caused by
weather and sun storms. The appearance of the crystals inside the
glass indicates changes in the weather.
The sealed glass chamber that holds the crystals is encapsulated in a
beautifully crafted brass cylinder. It can be displayed freestanding or
mounted to a boat bulkhead or wall using an optional mounting
bracket. Available in polished brass or chrome.
Dimensions: 1.65" x 5.75"
Weight: 15.7 oz.
The appearance of the crystals inside the glass indicates changes in the weather.

0 Items

From Left to right

1. Fernlike crystals are building up
2. Fernlike crystals are disappearing
3. Star crystals are falling down
4. Crystals all over
5. Clear liquid

Cold and
Fair and

Options and Accessories

Product SKU
Hook for


Brass - ES 55 02 01


[Home] [Products] [Gift Ideas] [Bargain Bin] [Your Shopping Cart] [Order Status] [Contact Us]

Admiral Fitzroy's Storm Glass

Torka (

( ) (
11cm 46cm

Storm Glass
Storm Glass )
Storm Glass Barometer

Bring a piece of Old World, 19th Century, into your home with the Admiral Fitzroy Storm Glass & Thermometer. This
elegant, functional conversation piece will reveal forthcoming weather changes as the camphor crystals transform within the
fluid. The Storm Glass was invented by British naval officer Admiral Fitzroy, (1805-1865), and his experiments proved that
camphor distinctly reacts to changes in the electrical current in the air and in the wind direction. The camphor reacts in
numerous distinguishable ways with the two extremes being: clear fluid - nice weather; feathery fluid - stormy weather.
This unique wall hanging unit offers a storm glass tube and a room thermometer encased within a beautiful wooden display
case with a glass face. Details of how to read the storm glass, taken from the original directions by Admiral Fitzroy, are
printed on the inside of the instrument. Available in your choice of an oak or mahogany finish. Temperature Range 0F to
120F (-15C to 50C), Length 18 1/4", Width 4 1/2", Depth 2 1/4".

Blood Heat:
Sum Heat:

) 98.6 F.
78 F.
58 F.
32 F.

Stormglass - " ",

(3.5 , 2.6
1.8 71
(?) .
12 3/4 ).

"" .
? >>
- ,
: admin 16/08/2005 (15 )

(? | )


: admin 16/08/2005 (8 )

(? | )

Sergey P.Fediaev

Observation Over Work of the Device "STORM GLASS"

The time of the device's invention is approximately 17-18 centuries, the most probable
place - England. The inventor is unknown, probably he was certain self-taught
alchemist. Who knows, maybe he had mixed substances for some purpose, but seeing,
that camphor has dropped out in sediment he thought, that the solution was spoiled.
After that he wanted to pour it out, but something distracted him and he forgot about
it. However in some time he has looked at a jar and has seen that the solution is not in
the same condition any more, then he started to make observation and paid his
attention for that.
It is interesting, that though such devices already have been made in 1725 in England,
nobody knows till the present days how this device works. The message about this
device I have read in a magazine " Young technician for skilful hands " N1, 1989, but I
paid attention to this article only in 1995.
And I had read about this device earlier in the novel "'20,000 Leagues Under the Sea "
by Jules Verne, there was such device aboard of "Nautilus". I was interested by this
information and I decided to make such device myself. I start to search for information
about substances included in it, I tried to define a type of chemical reaction, and then I
have assumed that thin fields play a role in work of the device. I came with the device to
A.A. Shpilman and, before I had informed him about my guesses, I has heard from him
the same assumption. How I saw, he has known about this device for a long time, but he
just didn't have time to assemble it.
We have made an experience irradiating the device by the
generator of "axion field" (GAF) (see. A.Shpilman "The
Generator of axion field", "Free research" N3/95, N5/95, N2/96
and photos) during 5 minutes from the distance of 2 sm. We
noticed that the structure of sediment has changed, it has started
to dissolve partially.
In some time the device has returned to an initial condition.
Returning home, I started to carry out a series of experiments, the
report about which I offer to your attention.

The description of devices and course of observations

Three devices have been made for realization of experiments - two experimental and the
control one.
The composition of devices includes camphor spirit, potash
saltpeter (KNH3), chloride ammonium (NH4CL) in the ratio

4:1:1 and distilled water. The amount of substances was taken

according to the information of the "Young Technician..."
magazine, and it was re-count concerning 10 % solution of
camphor. Resulting solution was divided into two parts and it was
filled up into devices 1 and 2; the control device 3 was made earlier and the volume of the
resulted sediment in it was more, than in experimental devices. However the structure of
deposits keeps similarity.
Till 26.11.95 an irradiation was made by GAF and by photoflash two times a day in the
morning and in the evening, at that the devices varied.
In the morning the first one has irradiated by GAF, and then the second device - by the
photoflash, in the evening - conversely.
After 26.11.95 the irradiation by the photoflash was stopped, because the picture did not
change, in the case there were not any changes of weather. The beginning of observation data
- till 2.12.95. After stopping of irradiation by photoflash one of devices (N367) was used as
control one in addition to basic control device. The main control device was assembled on
one the basis of hygrometer (the device for definition of humidity), consisting from dry and
moistened thermometers.
Results of "S.G." observations and brief characteristic of weather were also registered in the
table 2 times a day. The phases of the moon also were registered in the diagrams and the
tables. In November, after finishing of observations, the rose of winds with the average
sketches of the most typical indications of the "S.G." was made. The indications were
distributed concerning the direction of wind, and also concerning the state of the
atmosphere's conditions. The indications of the control device were shown in the table
concerning the directions of the wind. Till 03.12.95 irradiation by GAF was made during 5
minutes from distance of 2 sm., after 03.12. - during 10 minutes.

Results of Observations
The observations for the control "S.G." was made from 20.10.95 to 06.12.95 The
experiments were carried out from 02.11.95 to 06.12.95. However the complete information
about the work of the device we could not receive and the experiments would be continued.
Nevertheless it was possible to find out the following: the condition of devices is
characterized by seven degrees of camphor's crystallization:
1. Friable porous mass pointed to calm clear weather.
2. The flakes were characteristic for southern and east winds at dry cloudy weather first and
for western, southwest at less-cloud and clear weather with strengthening of a wind.




3. Crystals in the shape of needles took place at prevalence of southern and western winds,
cloudy and overcast weather with strengthening of a wind.
4. Crystals as a shape of small fern's leaves occured at northern and western strengthening
winds, carrying atmospheric precipitation or frost.




The indications of "STORM


5. The large branchy crystals like palm-leaves were met only 2 times in experimental devices.
It happened on the 2-nd and on the 11-th of November. In the first case there were snow

showers, on the 11-th of November there was a blizzard. In the second case the blizzard was
for the second and third days. On the 2-nd of November there was a first quarter of the moon,
on 11-th - full moon.
6. Starlets. It seems that leaves were the increased beams of a star, they have similar
structure. The size of starlets were from 0,1 to 0,7 mm, they had eight beams. They took
place on 20.11.95 at the clear sky, southeast wind; on 25.10.95 - during snows with
strengthening of southwest wind in the control device and on 06.12.95 in the device 367 at
less-cloud weather and southwest strengthening wind. First two cases were during the new
moon, and the third one - during the full moon. The starlets were noted on 13.11.95 too, in
the last quarter of the moon, at a southern wind during a blizzard. The blizzard also took
place in a day. There was a snow in 7 days after 20.11.95

The indications of "STORM GLASS"

7. Dots. They were met once in the control device during the new moon at clear weather with
weak western wind. They were accompanied by "leaves" below them. For the 3-rd day it was
the snow. The dots, probably, were the simple and very small starlets.
The "leaves" have dropped out in the control device on 20.11.95 during the first quarter of the
moon at strong western wind and snow. Volume, occupied by them, has reached 17-18
milliliters. For the 3-rd day there was a fog, then the hoarfrost, and on 03.12.95 was the snow,
on 06.12.95 temperature of air was sharply lowered. Cloudiness has sharply decreased, there
were noted the stratus clouds of a high layer and iridescent circles around of the Sun.
These supervision were made on the control device basically.
At irradiation of the experimental device by the generator of axion field during 5 minutes
were noted reduction of volume and more rarely - shape of crystals. Volume has decreased
on 0,2-0,3 ml, and density of filling - on 10-50%. The change of the shape of crystals was
noted in 8 cases. The restoration of structure occurred for 10-15 minutes after irradiation by
halves. Complete restoration - for 25-30 minutes.
In December I irradiated the device during 10 minutes. Thus the changes occurred not in the
upper layer as usual, but in underlying layers. Volume of a layer we conditionally consider as
1-2 ml. Thus the changes of density of sediment were more notable, instead of changes of
volume. When I irradiated one device by GAF, and another one by photoflash in the
beginning of experiments, there were a change of a condition of the device and fluorescence

of a sediment and solution (this is earlier determined property of camphor) at an irradiation

by photoflash. However, when I have removed the 2-nd experimental device further from the
1-st one, only fluorescence has kept.
This fact allows assuming that change in the device can be caused not only by axion's beam,
but also by induced field.
Plan of the further researches includes a break with the purpose of complete restoration of a
condition of devices. Then will be a month with 10-minute irradiation, and in the further - the
variations with ratios of constituent substances and their concentration. The purpose of a new
series is to change sensitivity of the device. The outcome of this experiment can result in an
opportunity of detection of the induced fields. It can help to determine objectively their

Camphor's properties
Camphor is monoterpene ketone, contained in etheric oils
of camphor laurel, in some breeds of coniferous trees,
absinthe etc. It is possible to get synthetic camphor from
turpentine. The properties of synthetic camphor are
similar natural one.
Camphor's crystals are colourless, with an original smell;
it seems bitterish at first, and later - with freshening taste.
It dissolves in the organic solvents well, but bad in water.
With increase of temperature the solubility increases too. It fluoresces in ultra-violet light. It
is applied in engineering as phlegmatizer of smokeless gunpowder, for manufacturinf of
films, repellent. This substance is used in medicine for stimulation for nervous, respiratory
and cardiovascular actions, for abatement of muscular pain, it also can raise vigour. The
properties of camphor's medical action are insufficiently investigated; there are inconsistent
items of information. In small dozes the influence is imperceptible, in large dozes it has
action similar with narcotic. The spasms are possible; the paralysis nervous and
cardiovascular systems of mammals can be caused too. In view of inconstancy of influence
this remedy undesirable for applying as a cardiostimulator, in these cases Cordiamin or
Corazol work more surely.
Ketones. RCOR, class of organic compounds containing carbonyl group, >C=O, connected
with two identical or different hydrocarbon radicals. It can be obtained by oxidation or
dehydrogenation of secondary spirits etc. methods. The solvents, for example acetone,
methylethylenketone, cyclohexanol. As the not sated compounds, ketones show
activity in reactions of hydrogenation and replacement. So at hydrogenation they, at the
presence of metal catalysts, attach hydrogen and turn to secondary spirits.
At interaction with PCl5 the atom of oxygen is replaced on two atoms of chlorine.

The terpenes, natural hydrocarbons of the formula (C5H8)n. There are monoterpenes (n =
2), sesquialteral terpene or secviterpenes (n = 3), diterpenes (n = 4) etc. They are applied in
perfumery, manufacturing of medicinal preparations, lubricant oils etc.
Probably, reaction in "S.G." proceed in three stages.
1) (NH4)+Cl-+K+(NO3)-=(NH4)+(NO3)-+K+Cl2) (C5H8)2-+O2-+K+Cl-+(NH4)+(NO3)-=(C5H8)2+Cl-(NO3)++K+(OH)-+(NH3)0
3) (C5H8)2ClNO3+KOH+NH3=(C5H8)2OCl+KNO3+H2
(Continuation in N3/96)
Translation of M. Dvoretskaya
We express our gratitude to mr. James D Mann for taking part in preparing of this article.

Thematic Contents

Sergey P.Fediaev

Observation Over Work of the Device "STORM GLASS"

(Continuation, the beginning in N1/96)
We continue the conversation which was began in N1/96. There were made two devices
for these experiments. One was marked as O2GI and it had points across 0.1 ml. I
irradiated it by the generator of "axion field" (GAF). Another one was marked as
N367. These devices were filled with the same solution:
Camphor alcohol

10% - 40 ml.

Potash saltpeter (KNO3)

4.2% - 10 ml.

Ammonium chloride (NH4Cl)

2.7% - 10 ml.

The solution was divided into two parts.

Irradiation of the device O2GI by the device GAF took place during 10 minute it has resulted
in a little bit unexpected outcomes. In the case of irradiation during 5 minute there were
changes in the top layer of sediment, but now there were changes in underlying layers. The
character of changes was the same as in the first case that was reduction of volume or stage
of crystallization.
The new experiment consisted in the following. I have doubled volume of NH4Cl in the testtube O2GI either in the # 367 volume of KNO3, keeping initial concentration of solutions. In
the both test- tubes the dregs has appeared, then it began to precipitate. But in the first testtube it was considerably slower than in the second one. After an irradiation of both test-tubes
by GAF during 5 minute volume of sediment has not appreciably changed, but density has
insignificantly decreased. This process was more appreciable in the first test-tube.
There was more appreciable sediment as a shape of flakes in 0.5 hour after irradiation in the
bottom parts of test-tubes. In first one it was approximately 11 ml, and in the second test-tube
about 10 ml. The next day clean liquid has increased in the top parts of test-tubes, and the
sediment at the bottom has become more precisely visible. The dissolution occurred not
homogeneously per all volume, but there was division into layers. When I have moved
devices to a warmer room and the dissolution went faster. I put both devices on the TV set by
turn, but I have not noticed any changes because of it. In the process of dissolution of
sediment division on stages of crystallization has become more appreciable. The complete
disappearance of dregs in the device # 367 has taken place in five days. The sediment has
made 7 ml. Irradiation by the device GAF during 5 min. has resulted in that fact that the
sediment was divided into layers of 5ml of "flakes" and 2ml of "needles". In the same time
there was about 5 ml of transparent liquid in the top part of device O2GI, 10 ml. of slightly

turbid liquid and 9 ml of sediment. After irradiation the differentiation of sediment on stages
of crystallization has become more appreciable. There was about 4 ml of "mass", 3 ml of
"flakes" and 2 ml of "needle".
It was noticed that at change of a stage of crystallization pH varied within the limits from 0.51.0 in both devices. The crystals looked less precisely in test-tube with prevalence NH4Cl.
For continuation of experiments the devices were assembled, in one of which there was a
solution of recommended concentration (see "Young Technician for Skilful Hands" N1,
1989), and in the other one the concentration was counted for 10 % of camphor spirit.

Recommended Solution

New Solution


7.7 . (12.2%)



3.88. (6.1%)



5.83. (9.1%)





The new devices have started to work in 7 days. pH was defined by indicated papers for
photoreagents. pH of both devices has made 7. After an irradiation by GAF it has changed to
6.5. It was rather difficult to determine the exact meaning of that, because a scale for
determination was rather rough.
In the period from 21.02.96 to 2.03.96 the observation have not brought anything new. The
crystalline sediment showed to the strong wind and precipitation. On the 25 and 26 February
there was snow; on the 28 and 29 of February was hoarfrost. Temperature of air was up to 30C below.
In March the strong northeast wind basically blew, it was up to 5-6 wind forces. Temperature
of air was up to -25C below. There was frequent hoarfrost on ground and on trees that time.
From 2.03.96 to 7.04.96 the crystals in the shape of "needles" and "leaves" became to gather
in the top part of the control device, their volume was up to 10 ml.

From 2.03.96 to 31.03.96 sediment had rather dense mass, so I even thought that the device
was deteriorated. From the 1 to the 4 of April sediment in the top part has started to dissolve
and was up to 1-3ml. On the 4 of April the sediment almost completely has filled the testtube. On 4.04.96 from 6.15 am to 6.25 am I observed a complete lunar eclipse. From 4.04 to
7.04 sediment now occurred (in the morning), now disappeared (in the evening). Its volume
made 1-2ml. On the 7 and 8 of April there were "dots" and "starlets" which have occupied all
volume from 20ml up to top. On the 9 and 10 of April there were light morning frost on the
ground, on the 13 and 14 of April there was a rain, on the 15 and 16 - the dense fog, on the 17
of April was light morning frost on the ground. While the sediment in the control device
occupied the top part of the test-tube, it was in the shape of "twigs" in experimental devices.
The results of observation from 28.02.96 to 7.04.96 allow assuming, that the Moon and Sun
influence on the device "Storm-Glass". By the way, on 24.10.95 there was a complete solar
eclipse. At that time device "laid in a faint", volume of sediment was less than usual though
weather was cloudy and on the 25 of October there was snow and blizzard accompanied by
ground wind, and on the 26 of October was blizzard.
How can influence the Sun and Moon to the device during eclipses? Let's try to consider a
mutual location of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth at this time.

Gravitational fields of the Sun and the Moon compensate each other, therefore their
influence weakens.

The gravitational fields are combined and their action amplifies.

From 4.04.96 to 7.04.96 sediment consisted of three parts: top part with volume of 1-2ml,
middle part about 15 ml and bottom one with volume 2-3ml. From 8.04.96 to 13.04.96 there
were 2 parts: top part about 15 ml and bottom part about 1-2ml. From 1.04.96 sediment has
run up to the bottom of the test-tube. On 18.04.96 sediment has taken on the shape of leaves,
its volume has decreased. The wind was southwest, the sky was less cloudy and there was not
any atmospheric precipitation.
In March both experimental devices were placed in a ring magnet in turn on some days. This
manipulation has not given appreciable effect, but it looked like the crystals become more
friable, they have lost legibility, but the stage of crystallization have not changed.
It is noticed that when I opened devices for gauging of pH, they considerably reduced
sensitivity for some time. This fact also took place at infringement of air-tightness of devices.
It is possible that partial pressure plays a role in their work, which created by steams inside of
test-tube. Maybe because of that fact it is recommended to shake up liquid 2 or 3 times per
one year, and the vessel should be sealed or hermetically closed and cover with sealing wax,
isn't it? The permeability of a vessel for light or other radiation should be provided with
constant maintenance of a vessel in cleanliness.
There was not find out anything new from April 18 to May 16. The devices were carried out
from a magnet. In several days the devices have come in an operating duty and started to fill
by distinct crystals. The "twigs" started to occur more often at change of weather.
From the 4 of May to the 5 of June crystals in the shape of "leaves" and "needles" started to
occur and to disappear in the top part of the test-tube of the control device. On the 16 of May
volume of sediment in top has amounted to a maximum and has made 7 ml.

From the 4 of May to the 8 of May it appeared in the morning and completely disappeared by
the evening. On the 9 and 10 of May it has been in the morning and in the evening, its volume
made 1-7ml. From the 18 to the 25 of May it appeared only in the morning, but from the 25 to
the 27 of May this fact took place in the morning and in the evening. From the 25 of May to
the 31 of May it has been only in morning and during a day. From the 1 of June to the 5 of
June sediment in the top part of the test-tube was only in the morning.
From the 4 of June to the 7 of June there was hot dry and less-cloudy weather. A wind was
very weak (about 1 - 2 numbers) of southern and western direction. In the morning of the 7 of
June at 7 o'clock in the morning the sediment in the shape of flakes in the bottom has
amounted to 17 - 18 ml, in the top part - about 5 ml. In the top part "leaves" became to fall, in
the middle part "starlets" and "dots" occupied 10 ml. The supervision from the 4 of May to
the 7 of June have shown that if the condition of the device really depended on the Sun,
Moon and Earth, but not only from weather, so the solar activity has probably changed these
days. Whether the influence of stars so essentially or not must get clear up more or less after
a lunar eclipse on 27.09.96 and solar eclipse on 9.03.97. But the new surprises could appear.
For now I can only assume that in the second decade of June are possible: reduction of
temperature, strengthening of wind up to 5-7 numbers, cloudy weather, long rains or
hailstones. The prevalence of southwest, western and northeast winds is probable.
(Continuation in N4/96)
Translation of M. Dvoretskaya
We express our gratitude to mr. James D Mann for taking part in preparing of this article.

Thematic Contents

Sergey P.Fediaev

Observation Over Work of the Device "STORM GLASS"

(Continuation, the beginning in N1/96 and N3/96 )
There were the descriptions of the observations over the device "storm-glass" in the 1
and 3 issues of journal in 1996. I offer to your attention the next part of it.
In the 6 of July 1996 one trouble has happened. My daughter has broken the control
device. I decided to restore the device from the remainders of the solutions, which have
stayed from the previous experiences. But before that I have taken the device N367 and
have become to examine the solution with microscope. Previously I have measured pH
and it was 7.
I examined the device with 50-900 magnifications. There were distinctly visible spectral
beams from crystals at small and average increases. At 200 times magnification the
structure of sediment was striped. In process of dissolution in the solvent and at the
large magnifications the crystals became more and more shapeless and turned into
porous mass. In a dry state some crystals had the round and hexagonal form. It was
impossible for me to get the magnification more than 900 times; I did not have
necessary equipment for that.
The device, which has been created again, turned out disabled because the
concentration of salts had not been kept up. That is why the new variants of the control
and experimental devices were assembled.
Control device:

0.3 gram
0.4 gram

Experimental device:

0.6 gram
1.1 gram

Making the first solution I have added camphor (approximately 2-2.5 g), which have been
educed from the previous solutions and washed out by boil water into 10 % camphor spirit.
The dissolution has occurred easy at temperature 28 OC. After, that I have re-counted amount
of salts concerning 30 ml and has filled the test-tube.

White curdled sediment, gathered in the middle part of the test-tube, has dropped. There was
muddy liquid under it and transparent one above it. This device was used as control because
its structure corresponded to a recommended (standard) one.
Making a new solution the concentration of salts was twice reduced and 10 % solution of
camphor spirit was taken. White curdled sediment uniformly occupied the whole test-tube
The purpose of last control device's updating was to approach its structure to the standard one
and to make observations. But the released camphor hardly would be rather pure, and its
humidity has not considered either. That is why the contents of salts would be higher, but
camphor's contents would be lower then recommended one. It can have an effect on accuracy
of the indications. The increase of the contents of salts, especially NH4CL, reduced
sensitivity. Camphor's contents influenced on density of sediment. It proved to be true by that
fact that the device with re-counted on 10 % solution camphor was filled with branchy
crystals before deterioration of weather, these crystals were not very distinct, but translucent
The mixed substances were placed into test-tubes and plugged up by rubber fuses. The
control device was coated with sealing wax. The test-tubes were placed in water with
temperature about 50 OC.
The sediment has been quickly dissolved, risen up and, continuing to dissolve, taken the
shape of oil drops. The liquid in the top part of test-tube painted in yellowish color, its
volume has made 1-2ml. In the control device color was more intensive. At initial addition of
salts pH was equal 7, now it has made 6.5. In the top part of device N367 was gathered about
1 ml of yellowish transparent liquid as the dissolution was completed, and all the rest was a
dregs of milk color. In the top part of the control device was gathered about 2 ml of yellow
liquid, and all the rest was transparent. In some hours a ring of a yellow liquid in the control
device was painted in reddish color. At decreasing of temperature there was sediment as a
shape of flakes, at increasing it was dissolved.
The devices started to work properly in some days. In the control device the crystal sediment
took the shape of druse and leaves. Those days, when there were rains or thunderstorm there,
the sediment had the shape of flakes and it was dissolved at clear weather. Against of the
previous variants of the device, it was noticed muddling of liquid up to milk color; it seemed
to us the accuracy of the device has not suffered.
The device N367 was placed in a ring magnet, the yellowness in the top part almost has
disappeared in some days, and the sediment has taken the shape of porous mass with bubbles
of gas in it.
On the 29 of July the control device was placed in the street, because, being in the room or
between window-frames the device could give the inexact indications, as it was in conditions
which were different from condition of weather. However, as it has appeared later, it did not
influence on device's work.
On the 3 of August a new variant of the device N367 was assembled. In the previous one
there was reduced the contents of salts, and that fact has resulted in deterioration of

sensitivity. In addition, the heating of solution was made in a hermetically sealed vessel,
what, probably, has resulted in formation of an orange-yellow oily ring. Probably, the
pressure of allocated gas was very important in this. The confirmation to that was that fact
that heating was made in open test-tube that time. The sediment, which has dropped out at
mixture of substances, was dissolved, but in the middle of the test-tube a foggy ring of light
grey color was formed. Above this ring the liquid was transparent, but slightly dim; but under
this ring it was transparent, containing bubbles of gas. Nobody knew how to explain it. The
ring occupied volume about 1 - 2 ml, in process of cooling it extended, getting muddle the
liquid. As moving the test-tube, the movement of the level of the liquid was insignificant, but
the ring was more mobile.
The concentration of substances was re-counted on 10 % camphor's solution, but the
volumetric ratio was broken. There was approximately 0.5-1 ml of salts on it than it was
recommended. pH has made 6.5.
There was a clear weather, western wind with force about 2 numbers at construction of the
device. In the device O2GI the sediment has taken the shape of twigs and occupied volume
about 8 ml. In the control device the sediment at the bottom was as a shape of flakes about 11.5 ml., there were 4 ml of transparent liquid in the middle part and then 5-7 ml of starlets and
needles. Then there was a transparent layer with leaves about 1 ml, and there were flakes and
needles higher. Generally in this variant of the control device very often took place
stratification of sediment on crystallization's degrees from the lowest flakes up to higher
starlets and dots. But the sediment was more homogeneous in the previous variant. In the
beginning of August the ring has not disappeared, but has turned to a crown with denticles
from needles and leaves. On the 7 of August we could notice a transparent tawny ring with
volume about 1 ml in the top part of the device. In the 8 of August the crown has become less
expressed, its denticles "hid" and turned to needles. The yellow ring became turbid by flakes.

On the 3 of August the control device showed a rain in 3-4 days. Actually, on the 6 of August
there was a rain. The rains were also on the 13, 15, 17 and 22 of August. On the 28, 29 and 30
of August there was drizzle, turned into a rain.
There was mainly dry cloudy weather in August there with prevail northwest winds. The
atmospheric pressure changed from 702 up to 720 mm and the average indication has made
712.6 mm. Monthly average temperature was + 19 OC, its daily average fluctuations have
made 9.2 OC. Monthly average humidity was 84 %, its daily fluctuations was 14.2%.
The strongest excitation of the control device took place on the 4, 11, 12, 15, 20, 22, 25, 26,
27 and 30 of August. And the strongest excitation was from the 20 till 22 of August, i.e.
approximately one month prior to a complete lunar eclipse. Another very strong excitation
was on the 25-27 of August. The test-tube was almost completely filled by flakes.
From the 27 of August till the 30 of August, probably, the basic influence of a coming nearer
eclipse began. If till August 30 the excitation lasted about 1-2 days, so from August 30 till
September 3, from September 5 till September 9 and from September 12 till September 16 the
excitation lasted about 3-4 days. The strongest excitations were on the 7 and 8 and on the 28
and 29 of September, i.e. three weeks prior to an eclipse and two days after it.
The eclipse was on 27.09.96. At the moment of an eclipse the device was exited and filled by
flakes, which were denser in the top part of it. This day there was a dry cloudy weather
without precipitation. There was stratus-cumulus cloudiness about 8 numbers; i.e. the sky
was on 80 % covered with clouds. A wind was southwest about 2 numbers.
The device was filled by flakes, which were denser in the top part of it with volume about 15
ml. Lower of this layer there were scattered flakes and dots, and in the bottom there was
about 2-3 ml of flakes.

The same picture was before an eclipse. But after an eclipse flakes started to be replaced by
crystals in the shape of "needles" and "leaves", sediment in the bottom and in the middle part
has become to thaw, but sediment in the top part started to decrease in volume too.
In September average temperature has made + 14,3; the relative humidity varied from 63%
up to 100 % and on the average has made about 84,7%. The pressure varied from 698 mm up
to 726 mm, on the average has made about 713,8 mm.

In spite of the fact that the structure of the new control device was differed from former one,
the indications of these devices before a lunar eclipse coincide in general.
It is interesting, that in March the northeast winds prevailed, in April southwest ones took
place more often, in August northwest winds prevailed again, but in September southeast
winds were more often. The device showed a similar picture; i.e. it is possible to consider that
the influence of lunar eclipses on "storm glass" is established.
However it is necessary to remember, that weather was similar in April and in September.
But, all the same, presages and consequences of lunar eclipses in the indications of devices
were very similar. The following complete lunar eclipse is expected on September 16, 1997
from 21.14 to 22.20 on Moscow time.
What will show a complete solar eclipse of March 9, 1997? At 4 hours on Moscow time there
will be the peak of an eclipse.
In October exactly one year will be from the beginning of observation over the "storm glass".
At the end of October and in the beginning of November the results of observation will be
summed up. Though the indications of the device rather exactly predict weather, nevertheless
some questions are not clear yet:
1. How does the direction of a wind influence on it? The question is caused by that fact that at
various directions there can be identical indications and on the contrary.
2. Why does the shape of crystals change instead of occurs only liquid's turbid? What does
influence on a stage of crystallization?
For the answer to this question it is necessary to receive the more detailed information about
conditions of crystals' formation. You see they are formed not only because of evaporation of
solutions; probably, any other conditions are necessary. By a word, we still have what to think
How do chemical reactions in the device occur?
On this question I could not find the answer yet.
At this theme look also in and .
Translation of M. Dvoretskaya
We express our gratitude to mr. James D Mann for taking part in preparing of this article.

Thematic Contents

Storm Bottle Glass

The Stormglass, chemical weather-glass or as we call it,
the Stormbottle, is an ancient weather instrument. This
device has been in existence for more than two hundred
years, but the name of the inventor is unknown. Some
attribute the honor to an Italian sailor, others say that it
was discovered by accident by alchemists who were
constantly experimenting with the substances composing
the solution with which it is made. According to Admiral
Fitzroy who described them in his "Weather book" in
1863, they were introduced around 1750 and were on
sale in the shop " Under the Goat and Compasses" on
Old London Bridge.
Price: $ 54.95

Quantity: 1
Add to Cart







normalleftquant, Ver 1.02, 21 Mar 03, Copyright (C) 1999-2003, Maritime Park Association.

A Storm Glass was used first in

the 1750s to predict weather
changes. The instrument was
used by seamen, who mounted it
on the mast of their ship. It was
meant to be a storm warning
instrument. Our observations
tell us that the changes in the
crystalline structure is triggered
by changes in temperature and
electrostatic charges. It is a pity
that the changes in the crystals
are too small indoors to use the
instrument as a reliable
forecaster. Still it is a mysterious
and beautiful instrument that
adds historic value.
This reproduction consists of
hand blown hermetically sealed
glass cylinder filled with
camphor, alcohol and water.
Changes in the weather caused
changes in the crystals. When
the weather was fine, the crystals
settled at the bottom. When the
weather was foul, the crystals
rose to the top. The famed
Admiral Fitzroy devised a set of
rules for predicting weather
based on the appearance of the
crystals, which are printed on the
mounting below the glass.
The instrument measures 12
inches high by 5 inches wide. The back is enclosed with a recessed
hanger for easy flat hanging. The frame is dark oak colored.
Individually boxed.
Item # ST002.009

Suggested Retail $69.95

*Customizing Available on this product

Send mail to info(remove to send) with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2002-2006 Allivan Marketing LLC
Last modified: October 17, 2006


choose a category...


Item #: WEM-ES550102

$150.00 / EACH
$117.99 / EACH


This mysterious weather predictor has been used since 1750. Admiral Fitzroy, the famous sailor and meteorologist, used the Stormglass
throughout his life, but most notably aboard the HMS Beagle during his historic voyage with Charles Darwin in the 1830 s. After 250 years the way
the Stormglass works is still a mystery, but it is believed that it has to do with the electromagnetic changes caused by weather and sun storms. The
appearance inside the glass indicates changes in the weather. If the liquid is clear, the weather will be fair and dry. If the liquid is cloudy, the
weather will be cloudy and possibly rainy. If there are small fernlike crystals building up, the weather will be cold and stormy. When the fernlike
crystals start to disappear, the weather will be warmer. Falling crystals indicate frost. This sealed glass chamber that holds the crystals is
encapsulated in a beautifully crafted brass cylinder. It can be displayed freestanding or mounted to a boat bulkhead or wall using an optional
mounting bracket. The Stormglass is available in two finishes, polished and lacquered or chrome plated brass. The Stormglass will give the best
readings when positioned in a cool place just inside a north facing window or on a boat. It is up to two days in advance and is remarkably good at
predicting extreme weather conditions such as storms as well as fair, dry weather. Weight: 15.7oz Dimensions: 1.65 diameter x 5.75 high

| Log-in | Log-out |