Says He Can Make Rain Fall.
A press dispatch of June 21 from Springfield. Ohio, says: “Canton and Northern Central Ohio were visited Friday night by the most disastrous storm ever known in its history. The meteorological bureau observer states that the rainfall in one hour’s time was over three inches. Hundreds of cellars and basements of business blocks were filled with water. A portion of the manufacturing district was inundated and fly-wheels in many shops worked in water. The Lantz box factory was flooded over the first floor, the estimated damage being over $6000.
“ The most peculiar feature of the storm is that Frank Melbourne, an Australian, who has made this place his home, claims the credit of bringing the storm. Melbourne is the brother of a prominent citizen, and is here for the purpose of carrying on experiments with a machine which he says he has patented, to bring rain whenever desired. He has been here over a month, and a strange coincidence is that ever since he has pretended to conduct his experiments heavy rain has fallen on an average of once a day. The rains have been accompanied by severe electtical disturbance, and much damage has been done and several fatal cases have been reported in this vicinity. Mr. Melbourne not only states that he brought the storm, but that if he had shut off his machine one day earlier the disaster would not have happened.
“ He claims that shortly after his arrival here the Weather Bureau at Kansas telegraphed Washington that crops were dying for want of rain. Two days after he says he brought rain in Kansas. That was on May to. The fall was thiee inches.
“ He states that he can bring rain in from three to six hours. He has had a circular letter printed and will send it throughout the country. In it he calls the attention of the public to his invention. He announces that he can cause rain to fall in an area of 250 square, miles. All efforts to learn the exact nature of his invention has proven futile. It is believed, however, to have in it the fundamentalprinciple of Franklin’s kite experiment.