25 Jan 1896 – Extreme Heat. “Persons drop down in the street and die without regaining consciousness.” If the old thermometers read high as now claimed, why aren’t people dropping dead now from heat apoplexy?

EXTREME HEAT. (1896, January 25). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 33. Retrieved December 29, 2019, fromhttps://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/139720730?#

So unexampled a spell of extreme temperature has caused much sickness and
many deaths. In the Bourke district 35 deaths have occurred which are directly ascribable to heat.
Persons drop down in the street and die without regaining consciousness.
The Railway department is running excursion trains at cheap fares from the town to the coast and the mountains. The residents are reported to be really panic-stricken, and hundreds are leaving for cooler climates.
At Wilcannia, Condobolin, Goodooga, Moree, Young, and other places the heat is nearly as great as at Bourke.
At Wilcannia there have been eight deaths from sunstroke and heat apoplexy.
Ararat, 99; Avenel, 108.  Ballarat, 102.5 ; Bendigo, 110; Bridgewater, 112.Castlemaine, 104; Charlton, 110 ; Cobram, 107.Donald, 112; Dunolly, 106; Drouin, 100.Euroa, 104; Echuca, 112.Frankston, 108.Geelong, 110  Gisborne, 108.Hopetoun, 113; Horsham, 112.Kerang, 110; Kilmore, 105.Minyip, 110; Macedon Upper, 101; Mildura, 120;Murchison, 109.5.Nagambie, 110; Natimuk, 115.Pakenham, 108.Rupanyup, 114.Swan Hill, 116; St. James, 110 ; St. Arnaud, 110:Somerville, 104.Tatura, 110; Tallarook, 106; Traralgon, 104.
Wedderburn, 113; Wangaratta, 109.Yarranonga, 112.
Yesterday (Sunday) the shade temperature at this Observatory reached 116.8 degrees, or the same as that attained on the 6th instant. To-day,
however, the maximum recorded was 118.8 degs, the highest experienced here since 1862. The next highest was recorded in 1878 when the
thermometer registered 117.1 degrees. During the 33 years of my experience I have never till today recorded as high as 100 degrees at 9 o’clock a.m.
At that hour this morning the reading was 102.8 degrees, and at 6 o’clock this evening the temperature had not sunk below 105 degrees.

1 thought on “25 Jan 1896 – Extreme Heat. “Persons drop down in the street and die without regaining consciousness.” If the old thermometers read high as now claimed, why aren’t people dropping dead now from heat apoplexy?

  1. Common sense would tell most people the the old time thermometers actually read temperatures far lower than they were, not hotter as now claimed.
    When you search Trove for heat waves or heat apoplexy, there’s no end to the stories that come up from 80 to 120 years ago.
    In many of them the writer reminds readers to drink plenty of water and keep out of the hot sun etc.
    So why did people drop dead from heat apoplexy then and not now when the alarmists claim we have record and unprecedented heat?

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