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Harvard College Observatory History in Images

This is a personal project collecting and documenting early images of Harvard College Observatory, focusing on the site at Observatory Hill (previously Summer House Hill). Buildings, instruments, people, and observations.

Disclaimer: all content here is solely my own views, and in no way represents the views of my employer, or anyone else. Also, I'm documenting things as I learn about them, so expect frequent errors. Corrections will occur without notice and without a changelog at this point.

Joseph Winlock

This page shows a list of all images tagged with "Joseph Winlock".

[link]1875 Joseph Winlock Photograph

Earliest source: F. O. Vaille and H. A. Clark (Class of 1874). The Harvard Book / A Series of Historical, Biographical, and Descriptive Sketches vol. 1. Welch, Bigelow, and Company, 1875.harvardbook

Joseph Winlock was the third director of the Harvard Observatory, taking over after George Phillips Bond passed away in 1865. Winlock would only serve a decade until his own death, around the time this book was published.

Winlock was the grandson of a revolutionary war soldier, General Joseph Winlock (starting as a private; Captain by the end of the war). Raised on a farm in Kentucky, he graduated from Shelby College, where he was given an appointment as professor of Mathematics and Astronomy. He moved from there to working as a computer in Cambridge for the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. After several more job changes and advancements, he wound up at the Observtory, where he took over as director.academywinlock

Under Winlock, the Observatory sold accurate time data to various customers, in part based on improvements to the instruments made by Winlock. In appreciation for this, Harvard provided his family with a stipend of the proceeds from this service for five years. Perhaps it was not enough, or perhaps she just wanted to follow in her father's footsteps, because his daughter Anna felt the need to ask the Observatory for a job as a computer, and thus became the first woman hired for this work at the Observatory (as far as anyone knows), eventually joined by her sister Louisa.

I don't know when the photograph was taken, but given that all the photographs in the book seem to be in the same style, I think it's ok to assume they were all taken in preparation for this book, which was begun by the class of 1874 in their final year.harvardbook

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