Monticello's clever windvane

Joshua Foer is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Joshua is a freelance science journalist and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Dylan Thuras.


Dylan's post about the Eisinga Planetarium, a 225-year-old ceiling-mounted orrery in Holland, reminded me of the weathervane at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello that made such an impression on me as a child. Jefferson, ever the clever tinkerer, connected the weathervane on his roof directly to a compass rose hanging on the ceiling of Monticello's entrance portico. Instead of having to trudge outside to find out which way the wind was blowing, he could simply look out his front window.

Video of the weathervane in action