Many years ago, my Grandparents (now both passed on) were "downsizing" their long-time home in preparation for a move into an assisted living facility. As is often the case with such transitions, they passed along their downsized possessions to various family members.
My Grandmother gave me her Godey Victorian Ladies china set - something I'd loved since I was a little girl. (The teacups and saucers make me swoon. Maybe I'll tell you about that another day.) I also got some knick-knacks that will always remind me of the open display shelves in my Grandmother's kitchen.
I also picked through a box of oddments; things no one else was interested in having. I chose this:
A strange little house; pretty ratty; something I don't recall ever seeing at my Grandparents' house before. Just a piece of junk. But, still. I have a "thing" for houses and buildings . . . so I picked it up to add to my collection. It ended up at our cottage -- fitting in quite well with the "rustic décor" Up North.
Turns out . . . it's a hygrometer (an instrument that measures the moisture in the air).
It predicts the weather.
And . . .it works!*
This label is still on the back:
It was sold as "The Swiss Weather Prophet" and was manufactured by the Keydel Company in Detroit. A bit of Googling led to this ad . . . from the November 1921 issue of The Modern Woodman:
Back in 1921, my Weather Prophet sold for $1.25! (Now it fetches close to $30 on eBay.)
I'm betting, based on the dates, that the Weather Prophet I picked out of the junk box of my Grandparents' cast-offs probably actually belonged to one of my Great-Grandparents. Maybe they thought it was a charming novelty, too!
I'm really happy that I rescued it! With no TV or internet service up at our cottage, it's nice to have a little Weather Prophet of our own.
If the children come out of the doorway, we can look forward to a fair weather.
If both figures stay in their doorways, the weather will change.
But if the witch pops out of her door . . . watch out! It's going to rain!
And, really . . .
What more do you need?
* The thermometer seems to work, too. It's just incredibly difficult to read.