eight years preceding the untimely death of Prof.
Joseph Winlock, director of the Cambridge observatory,
on the 11th of June, 1875, the work of the Coast Survey had
benefited by his resources and expedients in practical astronomy,
and by personal co-operation in our most important longitude
determinations. At the observatory, his tenure was made effective
to us by the activities of a strong intellect, that centered
only on the attainment of desirable results. His extended list
of Standard Time Stars is specially valuable. Amongst instrumental
improvements and inventions resulting from his studies are the
break-circuit chronometer and the horizontal photographic telescope,
already in use for special purposes, and much valued by observers
at home and abroad. That device was particularly serviceable
in recording observations on the recent transit of Venus. Large
prospective value attaches also to his labors in providing methods
and means for precision in astronomical observations and records.
Fortunately, studies to such ends were the bent of this able
man of science, and so was he occupied on the last day of his
life. In plan and effect, some of his ingenious devices have
been realized to the advantage of science; of some, the application
pertains to the future. The important results due to them will
be gathered hereafter by other men.
Professor Winlock, though reserved to an unusual
degree in manner and speech, was widely known. In the social
circle, he was also warmly regarded. There his genial thoughts
and feelings were quietly and evenly manifested toward all,
and by all who knew him could be readily interpreted as the
promptings of a fervent nature.
Report of the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey
for 1875. P. 10.