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During 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.

In: Report of the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey for 1875. P. 10.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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