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Visions of the FutureAlmanacs, Time, and Cultural Change 1775-1870$
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Maureen Perkins

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198121787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121787.001.0001

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The Parent of a Hundred Superstitions

The Parent of a Hundred Superstitions

(p.197) 6 The Parent of a Hundred Superstitions
Visions of the Future

Maureen Perkins

Oxford University Press

The disappearance of weather almanacs in the 1860s was connected with Robert Fitzroy's dissemination of official government reports to the newspapers. It was during the 1860s that newspapers became so cheap that many working-class households could afford them. The belief that weather could be foretold only two days ahead had been widely disseminated, and confidence in the annual predictions of almanacs had been undermined. The weather was still a source of interest, concern, and conversation in the Western world. Its status as a science was assured, although in practice, unpredictability still played havoc with weather forecasts. Long-range weather forecasters who used the position and angular aspects of the planets were still consulted by those whose enterprises depended on the state of the weather, but their status was not recognized by official scientific circles.

Keywords:   predictions, meteorology, weather forecasters, Robert Fitzroy

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