WHEN THE SUN IS ENTIRELY HIDDEN

From The United States Coast Survey via NWS Seattle.

Report of Mr. R. Platt on the eclipse of July 18, 1860.

CHANGE OF LIGHT.

At first no perceptible difference.

8h. 10m. 53s. Slight change of light.
8 13 33 Slight change of light, so as to see moon.
8 32 30 Light changing; slightly darker.
8 37 Kind of gray light; slightly dark.
8 40 Light a little more dark.
8 43 Sky appeared very blue.
8 45 Light becoming more dim
8 47 Growing darker all the time.
8 53 Growing still darker.
8 58 Getting dark.
9 00 Growing darker
9 1 Light appears to be brown.
9 3 Light gradually turning brown.
9 8 Light becoming quite dark.
9 9 Everything becoming quite dark.
9 11 Everything looks very gloomy.
9 15 Had to light the lantern
9 23 Quite light.

WEATHER JUST BEFORE THE ECLIPSE.

Cloudy, and fine rain; clouds moving to the eastward.

8h. 30m. Rain ceased.
8 35 Wind blowing in squalls; cloudy, and thin fog over the mountains.
8 35.30 Rain and strong breezes.
8 40 Wind moderated a little; clouds begin to scatter.
8 48 CloudR passing to eastward, and stopped raining.
8 50 Growing darker all the time.
8 59 Growing darker a shade.
9 00 Wind moderating.
9 05 Clouds breaking a little.
9 09 Wind moderated a little, and bird singing.
9 11 Growing cold.

SHADOWS OF BODIES

8 54 No shadows as yet, only thin clouds.
8 54 Landscape darkening.
8 58 Landscape· darkening

9h. 00m. Landscape darkening.
9 03 Landscape appears a brown color.
9 05 Landscape turning dark brown.
9 07 Landscape fast turning dark.
9 09 Everything becoming quite dark.
9 09 Bird singing.
9 11 Can stand the light without a glass.
9 12 Getting very dark.
9 14 So dark can hardly see to write this at ten inches

WHEN THE SUN IS ENTIRELY HIDDEN

9 17 The wind moderated; bird sang.
9 18 Venus visible.

Capella seen 9h. 20m.

At 9h. 20m. could see the shadow advancing, and as it went over appeared like a dark column or very dark cloud.

AS THE ECLIPSE ADVANCED

At 8h. 45m. the weather misty, and passing clouds; light getting a dark gray; the sky looking very blue.

8h. 55m. Everything begins to look dark and gray; sky looking very blue.
9 00 Sky looking very blue.
9 02 Landscape appears brown.
9 13 Everything looks very dark and gloomy.
9 15 The shadow advancing from west, or rather the light.


The full account begins on p. 275 with multiple observers, including from the Washington Territory, “The outline of Mount Rainier was more distinct before the eclipse than it had been at ally time during the preceding three weeks.”

Some observations are more poetic than others and one observer didn’t see anything, “I was prevented from observing any of the astronomical phenomena during the totality.”

Another was overwhelmed:

The progress of the moon’s passage across the sun’s disc was beautiful in the extreme, and at the period of totality there was the most gorgeous sight I ever witnessed.