Author Topic: Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster  (Read 8095 times)

Ghost

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Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster
« on: April 10, 2014, 05:52:08 PM »


When I was a kid my grandmother had one of these hanging in her house. I was mystified on how it predicted the weather. I was fascinated by this little witch house done in the German/Swiss Black Forest Alpine Cottage/Chalet style. On one side there is Hansel and Gretel clinging to each other in fright and on the other is a witch holding a broom.



Looking through the facade of the witch's house, inside there is a cool little retro Halloween scene with cauldron, black cat, owl, bats, and a witch on a broom picture.



Made by the Nu-Dell Plastics corporation of Chicago. They were manufactured from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s. There are four kinds that I am aware of.

The Weather Wizard (has a numbered diagram indicating fair Weather - Rain or Snow printed on the base)
The Weather Wizard C1 (Fair Weather - Rain or Snow printed on the base with no numbered lines)
The Weather Wizard C2 (Weather Forecaster printed on the base)
The Weather Forecaster (has no base, is inside a shadow box frame with various printed background pictures)



On the back of the house are the instructions to set the Weather Wizard.

"The Old Witch will be out of the house from 8 to 24 hours in advance of rain and the Dutch Boy and Girl will come out and stay out when the weather is going to be clear or fair."




This cool little toy has a thermometer on the front for a temperature reading and the Witch and children act as a Hygrometer. They are suspended on a piece of catgut from the chimney piece. The catgut responds to the humidity in the air by stretching which lengthens the twist causing the witch to come out of her house. In dry weather the catgut retracts twisting tighter causing Hansel and Gretel (wearing cool clogs and referred to as the Dutch boy and girl) to escape the witch's house.



These Weather Wizards (should have been named Weather Witches) came in various colors and shades from ivory, white, tan, yellow, green, brown, bronze, and red with various combinations of the pieces. Most have a marbleized look to the plastic. The plastic I believe is celluloid one of the first plastics produced for consumers. It is a thermoplastic and is highly flammable. Maybe that explains why the factory had an explosion and caught fire eventually collapsing on October 2, 1963. The two story half block long building was a total loss. All 50 company workers escaped to safety and two firemen were injured fighting the raging fire.

Here is an image of the fire I found at Historic Images http://204.75.12.232/images/RSG/RSG51621.jpg

The company still exists and today makes cheap picture frames for document displays.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 06:02:53 PM by Ghost »

m_binion

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Re: Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 08:34:19 PM »
Thanks for posting about this, here is whats left of one I had from my childhood. It's missing the back, the knob at the top and string and has some breaks and chips but it's priceless to me. I took the photo with one of those battery operated candles behind it.




Monsters For Sale

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Re: Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 12:30:35 PM »

That is really cool.

I especially like the inside graphics!
ADAM

GabaGhoul

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Re: Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 05:57:04 PM »
My next door neighbor had this when I was a kid, along with Monster Old-Maid, and a talking Herman Munster doll ( which I have).

Ghost

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Re: Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 09:23:34 AM »
My next door neighbor had this when I was a kid, along with Monster Old-Maid, and a talking Herman Munster doll ( which I have).

Welcome GabaGhoul to the forums! I missed out on a Old Maid for $10.00. I went to go get the cash and when I came back it was gone.

jim m

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Re: Nu-Dell Witch House Weather Forecaster
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 11:57:14 AM »
Thank you for posting that!