Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/704

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stations of the United States Coast Survey. Dr. Gould has proved in his scientific career that he possesses in a rare degree that bold, initiative spirit which is so marked a characteristic of our countrymen. As soon as any progress has been made in any department of science, Dr. Gould has at once turned it to account in his particular domain. Thus, he was among the very first to use electricity for the purpose of determining the differences of longitude, and recording by telegraph the exchange of signals and stellar observations. He had already employed this method, no less exact than rapid, in fifteen series of determinations before its introduction into Europe. Hardly was the transatlantic cable laid, before Dr. Gould started for Valentia, Ireland, and there established the station from which the difference of longitude between Europe and America was determined, and connected the two continents by the most precise observations. The net-work of these determinations thus extended from Greenwich to New Orleans, and covered almost a quarter of the globe. Besides all this geodetic work, Dr. Gould has very largely contributed to the development of pure astronomical science. By his learning, by his publications, by the example he has set in his researches, he has done much to inspire his countrymen with that love of astronomy which is now so widely spread in the United States. Since the commencement of Dr. Gould's career, upward of twenty new observatories have sprung up, which, in the precision of their methods and the closeness of their observations, take full rank with those of Europe. Dr. Gould is not only one of the founders, he is one of the most distinguished masters of the school of American astronomy. He established and supported at his own expense from 1847 to 1861 the first astronomical journal ever published in the United States. Between 1855 and 1858 he organized the Dudley Observatory at Albany, and it was there that the normal clock, protected from atmospheric variations and furnished with barometric compensation, was first used. In his new meridian circle, also, Dr. Gould introduced many improvements of construction, which are today in use in all observatories, and it was his clock which gave the time-signals to New York.

From a student and assistant at the Dudley Observatory, a word must be said here of the extraordinary executive power and the personal magnetism which Dr. Gould exercised in his little scientific family. Such a life is always a happy one where a high purpose and unflagging zeal give the key-note, but the kind forethought in every detail of domestic arrangement, the careful insistence on methodical ways in food and sleep at whatever hours they might be sought, in the exigencies of astronomical labor, were invaluable to young men, some of whom were fresh from the safeguards of home. The midnight toils were ever lightened by kind words and encouraging example, the hours at table brightened and instructed, whatever stress was laid on the master by cares within or without; and when the Scientific