The Wisconsin Gas Company building has been part of Milwaukee's skyline for years. The distinctive flame atop the building is not only decorative, but also gives a 24-hour weather forecast.
The photo is from the Historic Photo Collection located in the Central Library's Humanities Department. For questions about the Historic Photo Collection call (414) 286-3061.
However, the colors can be confusing to those people who don't know this rhyme:
When the flame is red, there's warm weather ahead!
When the flame is gold, watch out for cold!
When the flame is blue, there's no change in view!
When there's a flickering flame, expect snow or rain!
The flame has also been used as a navigation aid by Great Lakes captains. After all, the flame is 21 feet tall, it weighs four tons, and it can be seen from as far away as 30 miles!
[The information for this entry was found in MPL's Ready Reference Quick Fact File. Make sure you visit the Quick Fact File for other interesting and useful tidbits of information.]