Founded in 1841, it is the oldest valcanology observatory in the world. It was built just two kilometers away from the crater of Vesuvius, in a historical period of enthusiasm for science in general and for studies on terrestrial magnetism in particular. The observatory has always been at the forefront in the management of the most important seismic and volcanic emergencies in Italy. Our own research has provided some interesting details about the event: On the morning of April 8, an especially strong shock jolted the building, and cracks shot through the walls above the arched doors and through the floor across the building's entire east-west wing. As they watched, a column of gas, lava, and rock fell in a titanic bombardment that buried the countryside three feet deep.The mountain was an open pipe for a jet of gas that roared up from the bowels of the earth. The noise was unimaginably loud. Life in the Observatory was difficult. Abrasive grit was everywhere, rubbing their eyes raw, plugging their noses, and coating their throats. They began to have trouble breathing because of the Carbon Dioxide gas. By April 22, the eruption was finally over and the Royal Palace in Rome announced that the king was awarding Matteucci the Rank of Commander of the Order of the Crown. Relief contributions began to pour in from around the world. Frank Farrell, owner of the fledgling New York Yankees, offered his share of the gate receipts from a game with the Boston Red Sox.
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