Pieces of History

The Eccentric and Tragic Life of Inventor and “Weather Prophet” Henry Clumby Kelli Huggins, Education Coordinator, and Sean Bailey, 18 News MeteorologistHenry 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)

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)

Eyeglasses, c. 1800, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Eyeglasses, c. 1800, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Trephine from the surgical kit of Dr. Joseph Waldo, 1790, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Trephine from the surgical kit of Dr. Joseph Waldo, 1790, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Cannonball found at Newtown battlefield, 1779, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Cannonball found at Newtown battlefield, 1779, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Powder horn inscribed 1779, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Powder horn inscribed 1779, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

A Quick Guide to Document Repairby Rachel Dworkin, archivistDespite being made out of trees, paper is fragile. With age and rough handling it can be torn.  So what do you do when this happens?  Like medicine, the first rule of document repair is do no harm.  While most people reach for the scotch tape, tapes can actually be very harmful.  They yellow as they age and lose their stick and can often end up damaging the documents they’re supposed to help.When I have to repair a document, I reach for my Japanese paper and wheat paste.  The Japanese paper is an acid-free paper specially designed for document repair while the wheat paste is a water-soluble, fast-drying glue.  Both are available through archival and library suppliers.  So, how does it work? (READ MORE)

A Quick Guide to Document Repair
by Rachel Dworkin, archivist

Despite being made out of trees, paper is fragile. With age and rough handling it can be torn.  So what do you do when this happens?  Like medicine, the first rule of document repair is do no harm.  While most people reach for the scotch tape, tapes can actually be very harmful.  They yellow as they age and lose their stick and can often end up damaging the documents they’re supposed to help.
When I have to repair a document, I reach for my Japanese paper and wheat paste.  The Japanese paper is an acid-free paper specially designed for document repair while the wheat paste is a water-soluble, fast-drying glue.  Both are available through archival and library suppliers.  So, how does it work? (READ MORE)

Zither with gilded pattern, c. 1880s, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Zither with gilded pattern, c. 1880s, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yoke crocheted for a child’s shirt or dress, 1920s, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yoke crocheted for a child’s shirt or dress, 1920s, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yoke used for carrying buckets, early 19th century, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yoke used for carrying buckets, early 19th century, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yardstick from Barker-Rose & Clinton hardware store in Elmira, c. 1900, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yardstick from Barker-Rose & Clinton hardware store in Elmira, c. 1900, from the Collection of the Chemung County Historical Society