JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
And so it came to pass that in looking in the Scientific American for the earliest mention of battlefield tanks in WWI (appearing in April 1917) that I came upon these fine airship-related barometers. I've written a short bit on the first appearance of the tank in Popular Mechanics just weeks after its battlefield inauguration and so I thought to look around a bit in some of the other popular places that this coverage should be found--Illustrated London News, Illustrirte Zeitung, and Scientific American. I made it through the end of July of the weekly Sci Am without a peep on the "landship", but then got completely distracted by several other items of great interest along the way, and so I need to stop and report.
And so from"landship" to "airship"--no tanks, but there was this fine, simple, and ingenious construction to alert the civilian that a change in the atmospheric pressure could be favorable to zeppelin attacks. This simple apparatus is made of twisted jewelers (gold?) foil, one side of which is treated with varnish; the strips are so cut that when there is a change in the weather from damp to dry that the torsion would twist the foil a half turn, revealing the "ZEPPS". Pretty neat.
[Source: Scientific American, May 12, 1917, p. 472.]
There was a second instrument in that same short article that was a little more contrived and inventive, though I am particularly drawn to the simple ZEPPS above.
I am certain that the airship folks will like these...