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In the July issue of the Geographic Journal tributes were paid to the late Dr. J. F. Hayfordjohn 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:

"...There 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 scientific world..."

An extract from Colonel Burrard's tribute is as follows:

"...His 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 geodesy..."

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.

The 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.

He 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.

Dr. 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

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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