The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 426
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Southliwestern Historical Quarterly
agers about producing rain by a series of explosions. Instead of
powder and cannon, dynamite was to be used in his proposed
"rain-battles." In the early spring of 1910, he wrote his managers:
I want to have you at once, and without further delay,
perfect a suitable kite to carry up the two pounds of dynamite
1 want to use. Get this kite perfected, and make fifteen or
twenty of them, and order 150 pieces of dynamite contain-
ing two pounds each, with a five-minute fuse. Get all this
matter necessary, with cords, etc., ready for me to make some
experiments when I get there in May.2
Post arrived at his West Texas colony on schedule time, but
was dissatisfied with such preparations as had been made for
the experiments. Upon his return to Battle Creek, he wrote
I want to have you get your kites and dynamite in con-
dition, so that if you have a dry spell you can pick out some
day when there seems moisture in the air, and try the plan
of precipitating the moisture into rain-that precipitation
to be caused by violent agitation of the air.
It has been demonstrated many times that such agitation
by explosion does precipitate moisture and produce rain. I
believe that it is necessary to agitate the air violently from
different points near the earth, and at closely succeeding pe-
riods of time, very much in imitation of cannonading in a
In the same letter he gave explicit directions on firing the
dynamite. Five-minute fuses were to be attached to each charge,
and when the kite attained an altitude of one hundred feet, a
string forty feet long should be tied to the main cord that held
the kite. As the two-pound charge of dynamite was about to be
lifted by the rising kite, the fuse was to be lighted so that the
explosion would occur five minutes later. Under the supervision
of his chief engineer, Marhoff, trained men were to be placed a
quarter of a mile apart and the utmost care exercised in handling
both dynamite and kites. Each man would fire twenty charges.4
Nature played a sly trick on the Rainmaker. Just as the
2Post Records, Minutes, Vol. II, 42c. Post to Double U Company,
March 21, 1910. Hereafter Post Records will be referred to as P. R.
3p. R., Minutes II, 95m. Post to Double U Company, June 3, 1910.
4P. R., Minutes II, 95m. Post to Double U Company, June 3, 1910.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/462/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.