85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005: 3:15 PM
Abbott Lawrence Rotch: Observer, Extraordinaire
Jinny Nathans, AMS, Boston, MA
Born in Boston in 1861 into a leading New England family, Abbott Lawrence Rotch founded Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA, in 1884.

Some of Rotch's notebooks have come to light while consolidating materials for offsite storage during a renovation of the Headquarters building of the American Meteorological Society in Boston two years ago. This presentation covers Rotch's establishment of the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory and the notebooks of clippings and observations he kept of worldwide meteorological phenomena. It will also discuss his travels to other European observatories and his correspondence with even more far-flung observers and how he transferred this collected information into material that was then regularly published in the Monthly Weather Review and other journals. A sidelight is his collection of some of the earliest photographs of routine occurrences such as clouds and lightning and of other observatories. The presentation is based on archival records at Harvard, Blue Hill, the American Meteorological Society, and the Metropolitan District Commission.

Supplementary URL: