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Gen. Robert St. George “Dry Hence Forth” Dyrenforth

It is not surprising that European American settlers in the Great Plains, dependent on agriculture and plagued by drought, would develop an interest in rainmaking. The earliest attempts involved the concussion method, which was premised on the theory that gunpowder explosions triggered friction and generated nuclei to produce rain. In 1890 Congress appropriated funds to put this theory into practice. The task was given to Gen. Robert St. George Dyrenforth. Experimentation began on the C Ranch in Andrews County, Texas, in 1891 and continued at San Antonio, Texas, in 1892. No rainfall occurred. General Dyrenforth was dubbed “General Dryhenceforth,” and the remaining funds appropriated for rainmaking experiments reverted to the Department of the Treasury.

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