the July issue of the Geographic Journal tributes were paid
to the late Dr. J. F. Hayford
by the president of the Royal Geographic Society Of London and
by Colonel Sidney G. Burrard, former superintendent of the Trigonometrical
Survey of India. The president of the Royal Geographic Society
said in part:
is one other name which stands high in the role of those who
have placed to their credit successful research work in one
or other of the more highly specialized branches of geographical
science which has been erased by death since last we met, it
was, indeed, only last year that the Victoria Medal was awarded
by your council to J. F. Hayford for his success in establishing
the theory of isostasy. Mr. Hayford may be counted fortunate
not only in having been endowed with great mathematical and
practical ability but also in having had at his command in the
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, of which he was himself
a member, the services of a staff of trained computers (staffers)
that may well excite the envy of the geodesists of other lands.
It is to his credit that he grasped the opportunity with which
he was thus provided, and by his achievement in the most far-reaching
development of modern geodesy won the acknowledgment of the
An extract from Colonel Burrard's tribute is as follows:
mental grasp of masses of figures was remarkable. His organization
of the elaborate system which involved a detailed calculation
of the effects of all mountains and seas (between every observing
station and its antipodes) was as masterly as it was courageous.
Possessing these brilliant powers, he was nevertheless always
restrained by his fidelity to the observed facts. His scientific
motto was, "Hold fast to the observed facts." His influence
has been felt throughout the geodetic surveys of the world,
his genius has placed his country in the forefront of international
Dr. John Fillmore Hayford, director of the College of Engineering,
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, who died in Evanston
Monday, was a former resident of Washington. He was 56 years
old. While a resident of Washington, from 1898 to 1909, Dr.
Hayford was the chief of the division of geodesy of the United
States Coast and Geodetic Survey. Prior to that time he had
been a resident of Washington for several short periods while
a mathematician in the Coast and Geodetic Survey and later connected
with the field force of that organization.
Dr. Hayford was an eminent scientist, known nationally and internationally
on account of his determination of the shape and size of the
earth and his proof of the theory of isostasy while with the
Coast and Geodetic Survey. His dimensions for the earth have
been adopted by the International Geodetic and Geophysical Union
as the best in existence. His work in isostasy marked a new
epoch in the study of the earth and the processes which deform
its surface. For his work in isostasy the Victoria Civil Medal
of the Royal Geographical Society of London, England, was conferred
on him early in 1924.
During the war Professor Hayford was connected with the National
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. At the time of his death
he was a research associate of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
and while under a grant from that institution he was investigating
the problems connected with evaporation and the water level
of the Great Lakes.
results of Dr. Hayford's investigations and research are contained
in publications of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey,
the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and in numerous scientific
and engineering journals.
received the honorary degree of Sc.D. from George Washington
University in 1918, in recognition of the distinguished work
he did while connected with the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Hayford was a member of the Cosmos Club and was a member of
a number of scientitic organizations, including the National
Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, the American
Astronomical Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers,
and the Western Society of Engineers.
C&GS BULLETIN, 3/1925, 8/1925