The Eccentric and Tragic Life of Inventor and “Weather Prophet” Henry Clum
by Kelli Huggins, Education Coordinator, and Sean Bailey, 18 News Meteorologist
Henry Clum was a genius. Yet, as is often the case with such gifted people who are ahead of their time, Clum spent most of his life misunderstood, underappreciated, and reclusive. However, we can now recognize his rightful place in scientific history: Clum was one of the first meteorologists.
Henrich Augustus Clum was born on August 17, 1821 in Columbia County, NY to Jacob and Elisabeth Schultes Clum. Clum must have been a precocious child and young man because he was allegedly put in an insane asylum near Le Roy, NY during the 1830s for claiming that he could predict the weather (a radical notion at that time). He was released after one week when the doctors declared him sane.
Clum was an inventor and mechanical scientist who had a wide array of interests. In addition to his weather inventions, Clum also patented a portable commode that could double as a fashionable ottoman and he gave lectures about and was an expert on early blimp aviation. (READ MORE)