Question and Answer

What they did before Google…


C.D. Velie to Thomas Sadler Roberts, December 8, 1921:

My Dear Doctor: I have two carrier pigeons, mounted, on my desk here at the office, which you can have if you will send over for them, if you want them. They are in good condition.

In reading an article in one of the magazines a short time ago, I noticed that at one point in Siberia the temperature registered 96 below zero Fahrenheit. I would like to know how they record such a temperature. I suppose with alcohol. Where does alcohol freeze? Where does quick silver freeze?

Please refer this to some one of the professors who can give me this information, and oblige.

Yours very truly,
V.D. Velie


Thomas Sadler Roberts to C.D. Velie, December 10, 1921:

Dear Charlie –

Your letter of the 8th inst. at hand. I will try to call or send for the pigeons at an early date. If I can find a suitable place to put them they will interest some of the many children who come to the Museum. Have you any information in regard to these particular birds?

Colored alcohol is of course used in all thermometers used to record low temperatures. It does not freeze at any known temperature – is unknown in a solid state. At very low temperatures it becomes a little viscid (stickey) but is still fluid.


Very Sincerely yours,
Director Zoological Museum

P.S. The Heron Lake Group is at last done. The glass is to set on Wednesday next. It is a wonder: I think we should have a little “first view” or opening some evening soon.

I am inclosing the program of the second series of Sunday afternoon lectures. Think I have some good “stuff.”

How Does the Thermometer Work?