Monday, August 1, 2011

Raining Crystals!

Buffalo Daily Courier

Tuesday  April 10, 1860

Page 1, Column 2

Singular Phenomenon.

A singular phenomenon occurred in Syracuse

Friday afternoon.  At about 4 o’clock a dark

cloud arose in the northwest, presenting the ap-

pearance of an approaching thunder shower.  As

the clouds passed over, a slight shower, the ap-

pearanceof the drops resembling faint ink, was

quietly dispensed ; giving to all white objects the

appearance of having been spattered with small

drops of black ink.  The people in the streets

were surprised to find their faces and hands , and

even shirt bosoms and collars, spotted over with

this singular colored rain.  The sides of build-

ings,  and fences painted white , and the showbills

on the bulletin boards about the town, showed

traces of the same kind.  Clothes, hung out to

dry, were marked by the mysterious liquid.  A

resident of the Fifth Ward, who had clothing dis-

colored in this manner, had the garments washed

out in clean water, and has preserved the sedi-

ment , nearly a tea-spoonful in quantity, for the

purpose of analyzing it, to discover the cause of

the singular phenomenon.  A correspondent  of

the Syracuse Journal says the substance which

came down, was dark and of the nature of soot

and water mixed.  Falling upon light colored ob-

jects, it left a deposit such as a sprinkling of this

 compound might be supposed to leave.  Mr. B.

R. Norton placed some of the deposit under a

microscope that magnified 350 diameters.  Under

this test, it had the appearance of a collection of

irregular crystals, some rhomboidal, some pris-

matic, and many quite irregular.  They were

most translucent, although numerous masses of

an opaque substance were diffused among them.

What is it?  Can any scientific correspondent

Tell us?

-Original article from the microfilm records at,
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library    
 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY  14203

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