Weather Monitoring Through History – A Visit to Campbell Scientific Canada

 
Aneroid Barometer Showing Chart Paper. Photo Courtesy of Campbell Scientific (Canada) Corp.

Aneroid Barometer Showing Chart Paper. Photo Courtesy of Campbell Scientific (Canada) Corp.

 

Blog post by Laura Blazejewski

Campbell Scientific Canada opened their doors to community members as a part of the 2016 Mountain Festival in collaboration with the University of Alberta. As soon as we entered the Campbell facility, the sense of pride and community was immediately evident. Technical Sales Consultants walked the group through the history of weather measurements in Campbell’s unique facility museum featuring preserved antique weather sensors.

Photo Courtesy of Campbell Scientific (Canada) Corp

Photo Courtesy of Campbell Scientific (Canada) Corp

They discussed the evolution of the measurement of many weather variables. Of the most memorable, the hygrometer which measures the amount of moisture in the air, previously took measurements based on the expansion and contraction of human hair. They explained how long blond hair was generally preferred as it tends to be most flexible in its expansion. They explained to visitors how the sensors historically recorded measurements on chart paper, meaning that someone would have to go out to their site on a daily or weekly basis to read the papers.

Evolution of the Datalogger. Photo Courtesy of Campbell Scientific (Canada) Corp.

Evolution of the Datalogger. Photo Courtesy of Campbell Scientific (Canada) Corp.

After touring through the museum, we were brought into the production area where we saw the sensors that Campbell manufactures being made right in house, and saw their impressive inventory storage area. Finally, they shared with us the quaint story of how Campbell Scientific Canada came to be, starting with the founder selling data loggers out of a small suitcase while road-tripping across Canada, which was perhaps the most memorable part of the tour.

This event was part of the Canadian Mountain Network’s 2016 Mountain Festival, made possible through the generous support of the University of Alberta Faculty of Science, the University of Alberta Faculty of Arts, NSERCCampbell Scientific CanadaFirst Air, and Marmot Basin. Search #IMD2016CMN to find live-tweets and posts from the 2016 Mountain Festival!

See the Canadian Mountain Network’s YouTube channel for more Mountain Festival videos!