Fish Weathervanes

Written by Patty Yu
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Windvanes, more commonly known as weathervanes, come in all sorts of designs from house-shaped to fish weathervanes. These decorative ornaments are often used for home and garden decor, but also function to show wind direction. The earliest records of weathervanes date back to ancient Greece, where winds were thought to have divine powers.

Throughout history, weathervane manufacturers use the same principles of weathervane making, although styles and shapes evolved. For a weathervane to work appropriately and show wind direction, the ornament, which rotates atop a ball bearing, must have unequal area from the center, but equal mass from the center. These physical properties allow wind to push the ornament until it points toward the wind direction.

From Witches to Fish Weathervanes

Weathervanes come in all shapes and sizes, including flags, arrows, horses, sporting, and fish weathervanes just to name a few. Traditional weathervanes are often seen with an arrow and some type of simple or intricate design along the backside. Banner weathervanes are made with a flat back end, on which a date or inscription may be carved--an excellent option for someone who enjoys custom weathervanes.

The silhouette weathervane became very popular in the 1900's and often depicted a wider range of ornament shapes or scenes. Comic weathervanes and sporting scenes were common, as well as animal shaped ornaments. Three-dimensional weathervanes also came about, where the ornament is actually molded in the shape of an object. For example, fish weathervanes that accurately represented the size, shape, and detail of a real fish!


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