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Weather beacon barometer atop the Westpac Place building in Sydney

A weather beacon is a beacon that indicates the local weather forecast in a code of colored or flashing lights. Often, a short poem or jingle accompanies the code to make it easier to remember.[1][2]

The beacon is usually on the roof of a tall building in a central business district, but some are attached to towers. The beacons are most commonly owned by financial services companies and television stations and are part of advertising and public relations programs. They provide a very basic forecast for the general public and not as an aid to navigation.

In addition to displaying weather forecasts, some weather beacons have been used to signal victory or defeat for a professional sports home team.

HistoryEdit

PrecursorsEdit

In 1898 on the orders of U.S. President William McKinley, coastal warning display towers were installed along the coast of the United States. In 1936, the Weather Girl sculptures were installed in City Hall Square in Copenhagen. In 1938, Douglas Leigh, designed a Coca-Cola billboard with a weather forecast display at Columbus Circle in New York City.[3]

Weather beaconsEdit

The first attempt to create a weather beacon as a form of advertising was from Douglas Leigh, who, in 1941, arranged a lighting scheme for the Empire State Building to display a weather forecast code with a decoder to be packaged with Coca-Cola bottles. The plan was never implemented because of the attack on Pearl Harbor later that year.[4] Leigh resurrected his idea in Minneapolis in October 1949 with the Northwestern National Bank Weatherball.[5]

In Australia, the Mutual Life and Citizens insurance company installed weather beacons atop its buildings in 1957 and 1958.[6]

Weather beacons were most popular during the 1950s and 1960s.

Similar devicesEdit

List of weather beaconsEdit

AustraliaEdit

AustriaEdit

  • Wetterleuchtturm, Ringturm, Vienna

BelgiumEdit

CanadaEdit

ChinaEdit

DenmarkEdit

FinlandEdit

GermanyEdit

JapanEdit

RussiaEdit

SwedenEdit

TurkeyEdit

United KingdomEdit

United StatesEdit

GalleryEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.mnhs.org/exhibits/weather/web_assets/Jingle.mov
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=344vwknMlFA
  3. ^ Gray, Christopher (24 October 1998). "Streetscapes / Douglas Leigh, Sign Maker; the Man Behind Times Square's Smoke Rings". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Manhattan Users Guide
  5. ^ "Remembering a beloved icon", Northwestern Financial Review
  6. ^ a b c Federation and Meteorology, Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962, page 1032
  7. ^ "Harbinger, 2007". adriangollner.ca. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  8. ^ MLC Building, North Sydney
  9. ^ Photo of Westpac Place: View of the weather beacon displaying its red light panels Archived 25 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Hitachi Building, Brisbane
  11. ^ Hitachi Building Weather Beacon RIP sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  12. ^ Weather beacon to be given the flick – Queensland – BrisbaneTimes
  13. ^ McCarthy, John (19 November 2007). "Weather beacon to be turned off". The Courier-Mail.
  14. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=casRsothePY
  15. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTGwaUziEvQ
  16. ^ MLC Building, Adelaide
  17. ^ Lloyd, Tim (30 March 2007). "City beacon stands tall". The Advertiser.
  18. ^ 303 Collins Street, Melbourne
  19. ^ "Docklands tower light show reflects weather forecast". 20 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Who's afraid of Red, Green and Blue" – an urban installation by LAb[au] on Brussels Dexia Tower
  21. ^ "Illustrated Vancouver Circa 1953 – the Capilano Weather Beacon |". 15 October 2011.
  22. ^ Coolopolis: Montreal 50s SKYTOWER woot-woot!!!!
  23. ^ 505 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Montreal
  24. ^ 2,640 Colored Bulbs Will Predict Weather, The Gazette, 13 April 1956, p. 23
  25. ^ Montreal this morning, The Gazette, 14 Jan. 1976, p. 3
  26. ^ Correction, The Gazette, 17 Jan. 1976, p. 4 (beacon to be demolished, not building)
  27. ^ http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_KwIagbGuYv4/SsUU9M5RBBI/AAAAAAAAAAM/H3s4SQgtKCg/s320/Plains1.jpg
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  32. ^ "Культура".
  33. ^ "Tomorrow's Weather Stockholm Central Station, 2012 | Bigert & Bergström".
  34. ^ Beyazit Tower
  35. ^ icCoventry – Put that light out!
  36. ^ Coventry Design Awards 2001 – Three Towers Lighting Project : Hillman House, Corporation Street
  37. ^ "Flashy Coventry £400k weather lights system doesn't work". 11 December 2012.
  38. ^ "Castlemilk Lighting Project".
  39. ^ {http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2006/04/barometer-controls-led-colors-on-london-tower.html]
  40. ^ "Architainment Lighting - Commercial LED Lighting Specialist".
  41. ^ "Berkeley's barometer beacon highlights Tabard Square tower".
  42. ^ Mattei Building, Fresno
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  44. ^ "News10.net – News10 Weather Tower Key". Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2007.
  45. ^ Nolte, Carl (8 December 2008). "Lights atop One Rincon Hill signal S.F. weather". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. B-1. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
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  47. ^ Dickinson, Joy Wallace (7 April 2002). "Short Play Brings Rainmaker's 1939 Tale Back to Life". Orlando Sentinel.
  48. ^ Orlando Sentinel – History of the Church Street Station Area by Archived 3 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  49. ^ Bell Savings Building, Chicago
  50. ^ Weather Bell sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  51. ^ Weather Bell Archived 5 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ Memories Of Marina City
  53. ^ Warmer Weather Ahead sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  54. ^ Colder Weather in Sight sur Flickr : partage de photos !
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  58. ^ "What Do The Weather Lights Mean?". WLWT.com. Hearst Television. 17 April 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
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  60. ^ [7]
  61. ^ 1952 The Falstaff Weather Ball is First Lit
  62. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 March 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  63. ^ Falstaff Brewery – New Orleans Louisiana sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  64. ^ New Orleans, Louisiana Daily Photo
  65. ^ Tower shines after 50 years: 10/1/00
  66. ^ https://www.abc57.com/news/flint-skyline-sees-changes-to-historical-weather-ball
  67. ^ http://www.wzzm13.com/weather/weatherball.asp
  68. ^ Grand Rapids Business Journal – Weather Ball History Archived 31 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  69. ^ weather ball sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  70. ^ Valley City Sign Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  71. ^ The Technical History of WEBC Radio: Chapter Five Archived 20 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  73. ^ Guided by History: Weatherball Archived 16 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  74. ^ MNHS.ORG | Exhibits | Weather Permitting
  75. ^ History of the NWS in the Twin Cities – At the Airport
  76. ^ A History of Minneapolis: Banking and Finance Archived 16 June 2002 at the Wayback Machine
  77. ^ "Remembering a beloved icon". Northwestern Financial Review. 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010.
  78. ^ Calavano, Alan (2008). Rochester. ISBN 9780738551944.
  79. ^ MHS Visual Resource Database Image
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  81. ^ http://www.kchistory.org/content/business-mens-assurance-co-building-0
  82. ^ http://www.hoachorus.com/harmonotes/Dec05Harmonotes.pdf
  83. ^ Pershing Building, Kansas City
  84. ^ "Built St. Louis | Central Corridor | Downtown West | Locust Street". www.builtstlouis.net. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  85. ^ http://www.terracottalofts.com/bldghistory.asp[dead link]
  86. ^ Blacktie-StLouis | PREMIERE EVENTS | The 8-foot, 1200-pound neon ball sits on top of a 50-foot rotating tower and can be seen over a 10-mile radius when lit Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  87. ^ Terra Cotta Lofts, St. Louis
  88. ^ Weather Ball 2 sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  89. ^ Weather Ball sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  90. ^ [9]
  91. ^ [10]
  92. ^ US Bank Tower, Billings
  93. ^ Helena Last Chance Gulch
  94. ^ Dunlap, David W. (4 February 2008). "No More MONY in the Midtown Skyline". The New York Times.
  95. ^ Gothamist: Find Another Weather Forecast Archived 11 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  96. ^ Mutual of New York Building, New York City
  97. ^ Burleigh County : General Information Archived 10 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  98. ^ Bismarck-Mandan Blog – Weather Beacon: been there, done that, got the t-shirt Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  99. ^ Save the Weather Beacon! You can help!
  100. ^ Chiquita Center, Cincinnati
  101. ^ Lisa Miller (producer) (1987). WKRC-TV Gets Weather Beacon (Television advertisement). Cincinnati, Ohio: WKRC-TV. ♪ If you wanna know / what the weather will be / just look up to the top / of the Chiquita Building. ♪
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  103. ^ Griffith, Terry L. (2000). Oklahoma City: 1930 to the Millennium. ISBN 9780738508801.
  104. ^ [12]
  105. ^ [13]
  106. ^ Tulsa TV Weather
  107. ^ Tulsa Historical Society | Learn | Exhibits | Historic Sites Archived 27 March 2003 at Archive.today
  108. ^ 320 S. Boston 3 sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  109. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  110. ^ Standard Insurance Plaza, Portland
  111. ^ "Sign in to OregonLive.com". The Oregonian.
  112. ^ Downtown Portland from our window by Gallun : Weather Underground Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  113. ^ officeflowers sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  114. ^ Gulf Building, Pittsburgh
  115. ^ http://www.cparchives.com/archive.cfm?type=You%20Had%20to%20Ask&action=getComplete&ref=2497[permanent dead link]
  116. ^ http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/default.aspx?pageId=47
  117. ^ New twist on an old landmark – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review[permanent dead link]
  118. ^ http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=126076
  119. ^ http://www.co.berks.pa.us/commissioners/cwp/view.asp?A=11&Q=490871
  120. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  121. ^ US Bank Building, Sioux Falls
  122. ^ [14]
  123. ^ [15][permanent dead link]
  124. ^ [16][permanent dead link]
  125. ^ [17]
  126. ^ [18][permanent dead link]
  127. ^ 28 January 2007 – Provident: a Beacon in the Chattanooga Community – Memories – Chattanoogan.com Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  128. ^ Maclellan Building, Chattanooga
  129. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20081118134918/http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/nashville/popular_buildings/LandC/landc_brochure/LandC2.html. Archived from the original on 18 November 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  130. ^ http://www.cardcow.com/21559/life-and-casualty-tower-nashville-us-state-town-views-tennessee-nashville/
  131. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-mercantileclock_13met.ART.State.Edition1.454c55b.html
  132. ^ http://www.snarkymalarkey.com/?p=415
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  135. ^ The Center for American History
  136. ^ ImageShack – Hosting :: 6006032fa.jpg
  137. ^ Travis Tower, Houston
  138. ^ ImageShack – Hosting :: 6006085yc.jpg
  139. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  140. ^ SixFlagsHouston.com | Photos :: Historical Photos :: globe Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  141. ^ Drury Plaza Hotel River Walk, San Antonio, Texas Archived 14 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  142. ^ Drury Plaza Hotel- San Antonio Riverwalk, San Antonio
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  149. ^ JS Online: Galvin envisioned weather flame on old Gas Co. building Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  150. ^ Wisconsin Gas Building sur Flickr : partage de photos !
  151. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)