The New International Encyclopædia/Förster, Wilhelm

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FÖRSTER, Wilhelm (1832—). A German astronomer, born at Grünberg, Silesia. He studied at Berlin and Bonn, and became professor of astronomy at Berlin in 1863, and director of the observatory in 1865. In 1868 he was also appointed director of the commission established by the North German Confederation, and continued from 1871 by the German Empire, for the determination of standards of measurement. In this capacity he superintended the reorganization of the German system of weights and measures on the metric basis. He was elected president of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in 1891. In 1892 he assisted in founding the German Society for Ethical Culture. His publications include: Populäre Mitteilungen (2 vols., 1879 and 1884); Sammlung von Vorträgen und Abhandlungen (2 vols., 1887 and 1890); and Studien zur Astrometrie (1888).