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Date of photo: Late 1800s
Charles W. Friend built an observatory into his house on Stewart Street, between Carson and Musser. Here you can see the V&T Railroad tracks running along Stewart Street in the foreground.
Date Uploaded: December 19, 2016
Source: Facebook: Bill Neville
Source Caption: Charles W. Friend: Nevada's Pioneer Weatherman Charles William Friend kept his feet on the ground but his eyes to the sky. His lifelong fascination with weather and astronomy benefited Nevada in many ways and his diligent efforts to establish a comprehensive climate record for the state were prescient. So it was only fitting that when the Nevada State Weather Service was established in 1887, the Carson City jeweler/scientist was selected as its first Director. Born in Prussia on July 7, 1835, Charles Friend traveled to South America as a young man before immigrating to Folsom, California, with his father during the California Gold Rush. Friend apprenticed as a jeweler and optician, the profession that eventually brought him to Carson City in 1867. He was so passionate about astronomy that during 1875 and 1876 he built Nevada's first Observatory, a small domed structure equipped with a large telescope, at his home in Carson City, He procured the six-inch refracting telescope from the U.S. Naval Academy through the efforts of Senator William Stewart. He outfitted the observatory with standard weather instruments of proven accuracy and reliability, including a precipitation gage to tally rain and snowfall, sheltered thermometers (both dry- and wet-bulb to measure air temperature and relative humidity), two mercurial barometers to record atmospheric pressure changes and an anemometer to calculate wind speed. In 1880 he began gathering local weather data in addition to documenting his celestial observations. He also employed an early seismograph in the basement of the Capitol to measure and record earthquakes. (Mic Mac publishing)