Sunday, November 27, 2016

155th Anniversary of Allegheny Observatory: The Very 1st Director

http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/grahamscorner/pix/dean/p_Dean_Monument.jpg
Monument commemorating the very first Allegheny Observatory Director, Dr. Philotus Dean, on Pittsburgh's North Side not far from Allegheny Observatory.
(Image Source: Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University)

Most people are aware that the famous astronomer, Samuel Pierpont Langley, was the first Allegheny Observatory Director after the Observatory became the property of the Western University of Pennsylvania (which was renamed the University of Pittsburgh in 1908). Professor Langley went on to become the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution—considered the greatest scientific appointment in the United States, at that time (1887). However, before the Allegheny Observatory became an academic observatory in 1867, it was a public observatory owned and operated by the Allegheny Telescope Association.

Beginning in 1864, three years after the opening of the Allegheny Observatory in 1861, another Pittsburgh educator served as the very first Allegheny Observatory Director: Dr. Philotus Dean. First Light of the 13-inch Fitz Refractor Telescope, at that time the third largest telescope in the world, occurred on 1861 November 27. On the 155th anniversary of the opening of Allegheny Observatory, former Buhl Planetarium and Observatory Lecturer Francis G. Graham writes about his visit to the monument and grave-site of Dr. Philotus Dean.

VISIT TO THE GRAVE AND MONUMENT TO PHILOTUS DEAN

By Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Dr. Philotus Dean (1822-1871) was the first director of Allegheny Observatory. He also was the dean of Avery College in Pittsburgh, and principal of the Central High School, as well as professor of Natural Science. He was an outstanding educator most of all. The anecdote that he chased amateur astronomers away from Allegheny Observatory with a shotgun is due to mistaken identity; the person who did that was a man named Lewis Bradley, according to careful research by Allegheny Observatory astronomer Wallace Beardsley (who also served as a Buhl Planetarium Lecturer).

Anna Ferguson and I visited Philotus Dean's grave in Union Dale Cemetery, Lot M, on Brighton Road and Route 19, Pittsburgh on August 28, 2016, the 145th anniversary of his death. There is there a monument as well as his grave; the monument was erected by his grateful Central High School students. It is to be noted that Allegheny Observatory at its "new" site is visible from Union Dale Cemetery.

Internet Link to Five Additional Photographs of this Monument, including the Four Memorials on the Monument - This monument has four sides; each side has a memorial commemorating the phases of Philotus Dean’s career at the Central High School and Allegheny Observatory:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/grahamscorner/DeanDean.pdf

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Biography of Dr. Philotus Dean, Chapters XI & XII of the Book, My High School Days: Including a Brief History of the Pittsburgh Central High School from 1855 to 1871 and Addenda (dedicated to the memory Philotus Dean) by one of his students, George Thornton Fleming (book Copyright 1904):
Link >>> https://books.google.com/books?id=7J4iAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=Philotus+Dean&source=bl&ots=l-noCFJCD9&sig=bfN1yEpZFrEGuAdOi03zRP_3wa4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiesZTBg8HQAhUE1CYKHcfsC2EQ6AEINDAJ#v=onepage&q=Philotus%20Dean&f=false

Details - Grave-Site of Dr. Philotus Dean:
Link >>> http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=39014456 

Dr. Samuel Pierpont Langley: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/LangleySP.htm 

Allegheny Observatory:
Link 1 >>> http://www.pitt.edu/~aobsvtry/ 
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny_Observatory 

Related Blog Posts ---

"75th Anniversary: America's 5th Public Observatory." 2016 Nov. 19.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html

 

"Centennial: New Allegheny Observatory Dedication." 2012 Aug. 28.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/08/centennial-new-allegheny-observatory.html


Source: Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University Reporting     
             for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss. Edited by Glenn A. Walsh 
             for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2016 Nov. 27.


                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
     Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

No comments:

Post a Comment