Soon he duplicated the effect from an airplane over Mount Greylock, Mass., using six pounds of dry ice and natural clouds. Following ideas generated betw… In 1946, he captured world attention during his research on why icy wings interfere with airplane radio signals when he shoved dry ice into a refrigerator and observed ice crystals suddenly forming. With Bernard Vonnegut, Schaefer later developed the silver iodide since used to seed clouds. But concerns arose about disrupting weather patterns and "stealing" rain. From the ground, Dr. Langmuir watched the snow through binoculars. Silver iodide is the most common chemical used in cloud seeding in many regions. That same year Bernard Vonnegut, brother of Kurt Vonnegut and colleague of Schaefer, discovered that the process could also be performed with silver iodide (AgI). During the war, they invented several important devices, including gas mask filters, submarine detectors and a machine for generating clouds of smoke to conceal military maneuvers. "If I found anything, it's most likely because I didn't know better.". The only formal education he completed was the Davey Institute of Tree Surgery, where he worked briefly as a landscape gardener. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. The Saturday Evening Post noted that after seeding, it was still "difficult to aim a cloud.". Their military research also included the problems of ice on airplane wings and static radio interference and weather projects. Later, with Dr. Bernard Vonnegut, the team developed silver iodide for seeding clouds. Vincent J. Schaefer, 87, chemist who invented cloud-seeding to produce rain. Mentored by chemists there, he helped devise such World War II inventions as gas-mask filters, submarine detectors and a smoke machine for concealing military maneuvers. Mr. Schaefer's career began inauspiciously when he dropped out of high school at 15 to support his brothers and sisters as a drill press operator at G.E. He is survived by a son, James M., of Minneapolis; two daughters, Susan Sullivan of Sudbury, Mass., and Katherine Miller of Golden, Colo.; two brothers, Paul and Carl, both of Niskayuna, N.Y.; two sisters, Gertrude Fogarty and Margaret Allen, both of Albany; seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. While researching aircraft icing, General Electric (GE)'s Vincent Schaefer and Irving Langmuirconfirmed the theory. He tried sprinkling numerous materials -- talcum powder, household cleanser, sulfur and sand -- hoping they would form the nuclei for snowflakes. Vincent J. Schaefer, 87, chemist who invented cloud-seeding to produce rain. One out of every 145 people in L.A. County is infectious COVID-19, officials said — a drastic jump from two months ago, when the rate was about 1 in 880. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Nothing happened. Dropping out of high school to support his family, Schaefer began working for General Electric at 15 and eventually won a transfer from the machine shop to the research laboratory. Fascination With Snowflakes. While skating on a pond at the age of 18, he had marveled at the complexity and symmetry in snowflake crystals. This work, together with Mr. Schaefer's own obsession with snow, set the stage for the cloud-seeding. Vincent J. Schaefer, a self-taught chemist who invented cloud "seeding" and created the first artificially induced snow and rainfall, died on Sunday at a hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. As coronavirus cases surge, L.A. officials consider new rules that would allow many businesses to remain open but with limited customer capacity. During the 1930s, the Bergeron–Findeisen process theorized that supercooled water droplets present while ice crystals are released into rain clouds would cause rain. Schaefer went on to found and direct the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany. "It seemed as though the cloud almost exploded," he wrote in a notebook.