Wellies

Got your Wellies?? Hope so!!! With the snow out there today I’ve got mine. Who’d have thought that The Duke of Wellington (second row right, above) would have started a fashion revolution. While they are definitely practical, They’re now a super fashion statement. Just look at that Vogue cover on the next row. At the bottom is the design I thought my wife would like. I’ll let you know. 

 

With this crazy snow dump going on around us, I like most of you, was out in the driveway with my trusty shovel.  Part of growing up and living in Cleveland is the annual snow ritual – sometimes with the snowblower, and sometimes just by hand. I’m not sure if you are aware, but there is an interesting history about the rubber snow boot.  Perfect in design, excellent in repelling water, and “sometimes” fashionable, rubber boots simply rock. From the little yellow and pink ones my girls used on rainy and snowy days, to the more industrial (just keep my feet dry) designs, we can thank a Duke and some engineers at the BF Goodrich (Ohio -yea!) company (today marks the patent anniversary).  Here’s some history, and some cool production videos on “wellington” style boots.  Enjoy, and thanks to Wikipedia, Scientific American and YouTube for the info.

Manufacturing Video  (I like the melt boot index!)

  1. Wellington boots in contemporary usage are waterproof and are most often made from rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a halogenated polymer. They are usually worn when walking on wet or muddy ground, or to protect the wearer from heavy showers and puddles. They are generally just below knee-high although shorter boots are available.
  2. The “Wellington” is a common and necessary safety or hygiene shoe in diverse industrial settings: for heavy industry with an integrated reinforced toe; protection from mud and grime in mines, from chemical spills in chemical plants and from water, dirt, and mud in horticultural and agricultural work; and serving the high standard of hygiene required in food processing plants, operating theatres, and dust-free clean rooms for electronics manufacture.
  3. Sailing wear includes short and tall sailing wellingtons with non-marking, slip-resistant soles to avoid damage to a boat’s deck. These boots require thermal socks to be worn underneath as the rubber does not provide enough warmth.
  4. The Duke of Wellington instructed his shoemaker, Hoby of St. James’s Street, London, to modify the 18th-century Hessian boot. The resulting new boot was fabricated in soft calfskin leather, had the trim removed and was cut to fit more closely around the leg. The heels were low cut, stacked around an inch, and the boot stopped at mid-calf. It was suitably hard-wearing for riding, yet smart enough for informal evening wear. The boot was dubbed the Wellington and the name has stuck in English ever since. In the 1815 portrait by James Lonsdale, the Duke can be seen wearing the more formal Hessian style boots, which are tasselled.
  5. Wellington’s utilitarian new boots quickly caught on with patriotic British gentlemen eager to emulate their war hero.  Considered fashionable and foppish in the best circles.
  6. From the Amazonian Indians’ pain of roasting rubber over fire, modern society may have gained the rubber boot. That’s the best guess, anyway, of experts who know their latex. “When the New World was discovered by Columbus and his followers, one of the first things they found was rubber,” says Joe Jackson, author of The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire. “There were two things reported back: bouncing balls and boots.”
  7. Indians would go out and slice into the bark of a rubber tree, collecting the white latex sap in a process similar to tapping maple syrup, Jackson explains. Then they would turn to the fire. “And, for hours, they would just sit there turning this stick over a smoky fire,” he says. “Then they would take a cup from a bigger basin of latex and pour more on the stick until they had a black ball of rubber,” to be sold for or used in games.
  8. Whether or not this boredom was the inspiration, historians do believe that Indians created makeshift boots by hanging their rubber-coated feet over fires. “It may have taken an awful lot of will power,” Jackson guesses. “Maybe they dipped them in until they couldn’t stand it anymore. Took a break. Then dipped them back in.”
  9. The result was a crude form of what would later evolve into high men’s fashion, a farmer’s standard, and a kid’s rainy-day footwear. None of them would come until centuries later, however, after Charles Goodyear improved on the Amazonian technology.
  10. “Goodyear was obsessed with rubber,” says Chris Laursen, the science and technology librarian for the Rubber Division at the University of Akron, a professional organization for the rubber industry within the American Chemical Society. “He foresaw a world in which everything was made out of rubber.”
  11. Before he could make that world a reality, Goodyear first needed to find a way to keep rubber from cracking in the cold and melting in the heat. The solution came to him by accident in 1839, according to his own book, Gum-Elastic and Its Varieties. Goodyear spilled a concoction of rubber, sulfur and white lead onto a hot stove and witnessed the mixture charring around the edges but, surprisingly, not melting.
  12. In this eureka moment, Goodyear managed to cross-link rubber molecules via sulfur bridges into one large macromolecule—creating a stronger, more thermal-resistant material. “Under a powerful microscope,” Laursen says, “it would look like a cooked plate of spaghetti all intertwined.” Goodyear would later fine-tune the process and coin it “vulcanization,” after the Roman god of fire.
  13. Wellington boots were at first made of leather. However, in 1852 Hiram Hutchinson met Charles Goodyear, who had just invented the sulfur vulcanisation process for natural rubber. Hutchinson bought the patent to manufacture footwear and moved to France to establish À l’Aigle (“to the Eagle”) in 1853, to honor his home country. Today the company is simply called Aigle. In a country where 95% of the population were working on fields with wooden clogs as they had been for generations, the introduction of the wholly waterproof, Wellington-type rubber boot became an instant success: farmers would be able to come back home with clean, dry feet.
  14. Production of the Wellington boot was dramatically boosted with the advent of World War I and a requirement for footwear suitable for the conditions in Europe’s flooded and muddy trenches. The North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot Ltd) was asked by the War Office to construct a boot suitable for such conditions. The mills ran day and night to produce immense quantities of these trench boots. In total, 1,185,036 pairs were made to meet the British Army’s demands.
  15. In World War II, Hunter Boot was again requested to supply vast quantities of Wellington and thigh boots. 80% of production was of war materials – from (rubber) ground sheets to life belts and gas masks. In the Netherlands, the British forces were working in flooded conditions which demanded Wellingtons and thigh boots in vast supplies.
  16. By the end of the war in 1945, the Wellington had become popular among men, women and children for wet weather wear. The boot had developed to become far roomier with a thick sole and rounded toe. Also, with the rationing of that time, labourers began to use them for daily work.
  17. The lower cost and ease of rubber “Wellington” boot manufacture, and being entirely waterproof, lent itself immediately to being the preferred protective material to leather in all forms of industry. Increased attention to occupational health and safety requirements led to the steel toe or steel-capped Wellington: a protective (commonly internal) toe-capping to protect the foot from crush and puncture injuries.
  18. Green Wellington boots, introduced by Hunter Boot Ltd in 1955, gradually became a shorthand for “country life” in the UK.  In 1980, sales of their boots skyrocketed after Lady Diana Spencer (future Princess Diana) was pictured wearing a pair on the Balmoral estate during her courtship with Prince Charles.
  19. While usually called rubber boots, but sometimes galoshes, mud boots, rain boots, mucking boots, or billy boots, in the United States, the terms “gumboots”, “wellies”, “wellingtons”, and “rainboots” are preferred in Canada. Gumboots are popular in Canada during spring, when melting snows leave wet and muddy ground. Young people can be seen wearing them to school or university and taking them to summer camps. They are an essential item for farmers, and many fishermen, often being accompanied by hip waders.
  20. While green is popular in Britain, red-soled black rubber boots are often seen in the United States, in addition to Canadian styles. Rubber boots specifically made for cold weather, lined with warm insulating material, are especially popular practical footwear for Canadian winters. This same style of lined boot is also popular among those who work in or near the ocean as one can wade in and out of shallow, but cold, ocean water, while staying dry and warm.  In the US white mid-calf rubber boots are worn by workers on shrimp boats and yellow boots for construction workers pouring concrete.
  21. Boots, including rubber boots, are an $8 billion-dollar worldwide industry.  Emerging markets in China, India, and Africa account for the largest growth estimates through 2025.

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Partly Sunny

From air, thin air, and no air in space to land and sea. Huge amounts of weather data is collected then algorithms and humans make sense of it. And BAM!!!!!! It’s on TV (or an App) in a form we mortals can understand so we know whether to wear a coat or sunscreen when we go out or to bring an umbrella. Amazing stuff!!!!  :)))))  Please…read on.

If you know me, I’m an optimist.  I prefer “partly sunny” to “partly cloudy” and wake up every day looking on “the bright side”, anxiously tackling your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!  Today’s no different, enjoying a gorgeous morning sunrise as I look out over the lake from my office. I’m also intrigued by something that impacts us every day – the weather.  What we do, what we wear, what we talk about.  As we move into Fall, the weather around here is changing – cooler in the mornings and evenings, great cloud clusters, a different “blue” sky, and sometimes a bit unpredictable during the day.  Throughout the Midwest, farmers are harvesting crops, boaters are bringing in their boats, fishermen are targeting streams as fish head home to spawn, games are won and lost in the wind and rain, and most of us are moving our summer wear to the back of the closet.  Through technology, we can just ask our smartphone – “what’s the weather today”, and we get instant, detailed hour by hour response.  I looked up some history and found out the Nation Weather Service formally began today, over 150 years ago.  Through each decade, with the steady advancement of technology, our ability to track and better predict weather grows stronger each year.  Here’s some fun facts and trivia to expand your knowledge, along with a couple nice tunes for the day.  Enjoy, and thanks to noaa.gov, Wikipedia and You Tube for the info and videos.

John Denver – Sunshine On My Shoulders
Aquarius (Let the Sunshine in)
Good Day Sunshine (Remastered 2009)

  • On February 2, 1870, the United States Congress passed a resolution requiring the Secretary of War “to provide for taking meteorological observations at the military stations in the interior of the continent and at other points in the States and Territories…and for giving notice on the northern (Great) lakes and on the seacoast by magnetic telegraph and marine signals, of the approach and force of storms.” The Resolution was signed into law on February 9, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant, and the precursor to the Weather Bureau and National Weather Service was born.
  • The new agency, called the Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce, was formed under the U.S. Army Signal Service. The new weather agency was placed under the War Department because “military discipline would probably secure the greatest promptness, regularity, and accuracy in the required observations.” Because of the long name, the agency frequently referred to it as the national weather service or general weather service of the United States.
  • The new weather agency operated under the Signal Service from 1870 to 1891. During that time, the main office was located in Washington, D.C., with field offices concentrated mainly east of the Rockies. Most forecasts originated in the main office in Washington with observations provided by field offices.
  • During the Signal Service years, little meteorological science was used to make weather forecasts. Instead, weather which occurred at one location was assumed to move into the next area downstream. The weather forecasts were simple and general in content — usually containing basic weather parameters such as cloud and precipitation.
  • The Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce remained under the Signal Service until 1891. On October 1, 1890, Congress voted to transfer it to the Department of Agriculture and renamed the Weather Bureau.
  • Weather forecasters in the Signal Service and early Weather Bureau years primarily used information from surface weather observations. The early meteorologists were aware that conditions in the upper-atmosphere controlled surface weather conditions, but technology had not advanced to the point of taking upper atmospheric observations.
  • Around 1900, the Weather Bureau began to experiment with kites to measure temperature, relative humidity, and winds in the upper atmosphere. Kite observations were taken intermittently from about 1900 to about 1920 with a kite network of stations established during the 1920s and early 1930s. These pioneers (yes, Ben Franklin) were the first to observe classical meteorological features which significantly impacted weather over the United States. By the early 1930s, kites were becoming a hazard to airplanes in flight, causing kite observations to give way to airplane observations.
  • In 1931, the Weather Bureau began to replace kite stations with airplane stations. The use of the airplane as an upper-air observational tool continued to expand during the 1930s. Airplanes were an expensive and dangerous way to obtain upper-air data. Also, it frequently was impossible to use airplanes during bad weather; the time when observations were most important.
  • The development of the radiosonde was a benchmark to operational meteorology. With the relatively inexpensive instrument, the upper atmosphere could be sampled routinely and simultaneously in both bad and good weather. The radiosonde was one catalyst which increased meteorologists’ understanding of the weather. Following the implementation of the radiosonde, the science of weather forecasting began to improve substantially and steadily. How it Works
  • One of the more important advances for the Weather Bureau was the advent of the teletype system. The forerunner of the teletype, the telegraph, served the early needs of the agency, but it was readily apparent that this system was labor intensive and not reliable. The system contained many vulnerable areas, any of which could result in an important warning not being received or a critical observation not transmitted.
  • The teletype was introduced in the Weather Bureau in 1928 and its use spread rapidly. Within two years, teletype circuits covered 8,000 miles, mainly in the eastern part of the country, and by the mid-1930s, teletype circuits covered over 32,000 miles.
  • While under the Department of Agriculture, aviation weather services of the Weather Bureau expanded rapidly. Initiation of air mail flights and the increase of aviation activity following World War I placed a large demand on the Weather Bureau for forecasts of flying weather. In 1919, daily flying weather forecasts were started primarily for the Post Office and military aviation, but the most significant advances occurred with the passage of the Air Commerce Act of 1926 which made the Weather Bureau responsible for weather services to civilian aviation, establishing a network of stations across the United States to take surface and upper-air weather observations.
  • As the Weather Bureau became more associated with the aviation community, it became apparent that the agency belonged in the Department of Commerce. On June 30, 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt transferred the Weather Bureau to the Department of Commerce where it remains today.
  • During the late 1940s and 1950s, the main contribution to Weather Bureau operations was in the area of radar meteorology and computer models of the atmosphere. The military gave the Weather Bureau 25 surplus radars which subsequently were renovated to detect weather echoes. Information gained from the operation of these radars eventually led to the formation of a network of weather surveillance radars still in use today.
  • With the development of computer technology during the 1950s the way was paved for the formulation of complex mathematical weather models to aid meteorologists in forecasting. The first operational use of these computer models during the 1950s resulted in a significant increase in forecast accuracy.
  • The Weather Bureau entered the satellite age in the 1960s. The first weather photographs from space in the 1950s actually were by-products of films made to record the attitude of rocket nose cones. However, following the launch of Explorer in 1958, the importance of satellites to observing the world’s weather soon became apparent.
  • Most early weather satellites were low orbit versions which viewed small and different sections of the earth’s surface. In the 1970s, geostationary weather satellites were launched which provided meteorologists with continuous observations over much of the western hemisphere.
  • In July 1970, the name of the Weather Bureau was changed to the National Weather Service. At the same time, the National Weather Service was placed under the National
  • Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the Department of Commerce where it remains.
  • The 1970s saw considerable expansion of technology and automation throughout the agency, led by the development of the Automated Field Operations and Services system, or AFOS. AFOS was designed to bring the NWS into the modern era, using alphanumeric and digital displays to view weather maps and compose forecasts and warnings.
  • In addition, radar technology and capability continued to expand. The NWS deployed new WSR-74S/C radar across the nation, while the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, experimented with Doppler radar technology. The Next Generation Radar Program, commonly known as NEXRAD, would revolutionize the NWS’ ability to forecast several weather.
  • A super-outbreak of tornadoes in April 1974 was a turning point for the agency, spurring what became the most ambitious and successful transformation in the agency’s history: the Modernization and Associated Restructuring, or MAR. Planned in the 1980s and implemented in the 90s, the MAR modernized the agency’s observational infrastructure. NEXRAD, a new generation of environmental satellites, the Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS), and a new Advance Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS) to replace ASOS, were centerpiece technologies.
  • The MAR was completed in 2000, and forecast capabilities continued to improve through the beginning of the 21s Century. However, another super outbreak of tornadoes in 2011 — eerily similar to the 1974 outbreak in both scope and lives lost — was a stark reminder that even timely warnings are only as good as the action people take in response to them.
  • From the “Critical Conversations” that followed between NWS and its partners in government, the private sector and academia, the concept of Building a Weather-Ready Nation was born and a refocusing of forecasting efforts toward “the Last Mile” with Impact-based Decision Support Services. The key to creating a prepared, resilient nation is connecting forecasts to the life-saving decisions that allow communities to withstand them. IDSS is all about delivering forecasts to emergency managers and public safety officials to ensure these decision-makers make informed decisions and understand the impending situation based on expected impacts.
  • The Weather Research and Forecasting and Innovation Act of 2017 codified the IDSS approach into law, authorizing the NWS to provide IDSS across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels of government for the purposes of public safety and disaster management. As the NWS begins its next 150 years, the agency and its employees remain focused on one enduring mission that has remained consistent throughout its history: protecting lives and property and enhancing the national economy.

Additional Reading:

  • In addition to the hotlinks incorporated throughout this story, we invite you to learn more about NWS’ storied history by exploring the entirety of the NWS Heritage website.
  • Also, visit HERE for detailed history by decades.
  • Latest satellite imagery around the globe.

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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