Types of cloud, 1803.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraved plate by Lewis, illustrating an article by Luke Howard (1772-1864) from the 'Philosophical Magazine', (Vol 16, 1803). The article, titled 'On the Modifications of Clouds, and on the Principles of their Production, Suspension, and Destruction, being the Substance of an Essay read before the Askesian Society in the Session 1802-3.' explains the different types of cloud. The descriptions are as follows: a) 'represents different appearances of the cirrus'; b) 'a regular cumulus'; c) 'a stratus occupying a valley at sun-set, in the midst of which is supposed a spot of higher ground, with trees, etc'. Howard was a London chemist and a pioneer in meteorology, who in 1820 published the important 'Climate of London' containing the currently used classification of clouds.