Beginning in 1886, the State Weather Service was managed by both the United States Signal Service and the N.C. Agricultural Experiment, part of what was then the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now North Carolina State University). The U.S. Department of Agriculture took over responsibility for the weather service in 1891 and renamed it the United States Weather Bureau. The Agricultural Experimental Station would send weather report telegrams to certain railroad stations where volunteers would then display signal flags that showed local weather conditions. In 1892, daily weather maps giving temperature, precipitation, barometric pressure, and wind direction were distributed to fifty locations across the state. A year later, 500 post offices throughout the state were receiving the forecast data reproduced on postcards by the railroad displaymen. Ever since it was established, the weather service, by whatever name, has lived up to its purposes of collecting weather data, disseminating practical information, forecasting weather, and warnings about frost or cold-waves.