Tornadoes

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A gust, a storme, a spoute, a loume gaile, an eddy wind, a flake of wind, a Turnado.

Captain John Smith from An Accidence, or the Pathway to Experience Necessary for all Young Seamen (1626).

In an age of storm chasers and increasingly spectacular photos, Lucille Handberg’s celebrated picture may seem undramatic, but for the moment this is still the most celebrated tornado photo to date. I knew the picture from an early age thanks to its appearance in a children’s encyclopedia. When Deep Purple’s Stormbringer album appeared in 1974 (below) that imperilled barn, and the shape of the twister, was immediately recognisable.

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Lucille Handberg took her famous photo on 8th July, 1927 as the tornado passed by Jasper, Minnesota. It’s a surprise to see from the account in The Milwaukee Sentinel that there’s at least one other picture. I tried searching for a larger image of the second photo but photo libraries still control its reproduction. The copy above is from an account of the tornado here.

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