Abbot, C.G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973

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Astronomer, director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

From the description of Papers, 1918-1920. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78404538

Charles G. Abbot (1872-1973), the fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, came to the Institution in 1895 as an assistant to Secretary Samuel P. Langley in the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. In 1907 he was named Director of the Astrophysical Observatory, a position which he held until his retirement in 1944. He became an Assistant Secretary of the Institution in 1918, and served as Secretary from 1928 to 1944. Most of Abbot's research centered around studies of solar radiation and attempts to determine the relationship between solar variations and the earth's weather.

From the description of Charles G. Abbot Papers, 1889-1973, and Records of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83659829

Charles Greeley Abbott was born in Wilton, NH on May 31, 1872 and was educated at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1894, M.S. 1895). He served as assistant in the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Laboratory in Washington, D.C. (1895-1906), as acting director in 1906 and director from 1907-1944. From 1928-1944, he also served as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Abbott devoted himself to a study of the sun's and the earth's radiation, successfully measuring the solar constant of radiation in 1903 and performed early research into the phenomena of sun spots. He founded observatories for the study of solar radiation at Mt. Wilson, CA, Mt. Harqua Hala, AZ., and Mt. Montezuma, Chile. Abbott invented a gyroscopic apparatus used as an inertial navigation instrument by the United States military forces in World War 1. He retired from the Smithsonian Institution in 1944. Abbot was the recipient of the Henry Draper Medal (1910) and the Rumford Prize (1915). He was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1921. He died in Washington, D.C. in 1973.

From the guide to the Charles Greeley Abbot Papers, 1918-1920, (Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections)

Charles G. Abbot (1872-1973), astrophysicist, served as the fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1928 to 1944. Abbot came to the Smithsonian in 1895 to serve as an assistant to Secretary Samuel P. Langley in the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. In 1906, he was named Director of the Observatory, a position he held until his retirement in 1944. He became Assistant Secretary in 1918 and Secretary in 1928. After his retirement in 1944, he was named Secretary Emeritus and continued research in astrophysics until his death. Abbot was known for his research on the solar constant and experiments with solar powered mechanisms.

From the description of Oral history interviews with Charles G. Abbot [sound recording] / 1973. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80630323

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Clayton, Henry Helm, 1861-1946. Papers, 1877-1949 and undated. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938. Papers [microform], 1882-1938. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Coblentz, William W. (William Weber), 1873-1962. William W. Coblentz papers, 1883-1960. Library of Congress
referencedIn Walter Sydney Adams Papers, 1881-1939 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn George Ellery Hale papers, 1882-1938 California Institute of Technology. Archives.
creatorOf Abbot, C. G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973. Charles G. Abbot Papers, 1889-1973, and Records of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn William W. Coblentz Papers, 1883-1960 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Charles Greeley Abbot Papers, 1918-1920 Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections
creatorOf Tolman, Ruel Pardee, 1878-. [Tour of art galleries in the Northeastern U.S.]. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Abbot, C. G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973. Letter. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Abbot, C. G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973. Intellectual autobiography, 1956, 1962. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
creatorOf Abbot, C. G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973. Papers, 1918-1920. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Teale, Edwin Way, 1899-1980. Papers, 1799-1995 and undated Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn American Astronomical Society. Records, 1897-1988, (bulk 1920-1980). American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Pettit, Edison, 1889-1962. Papers of Edison Pettit, 1920-1969. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938. Papers, 1882-1938. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Abbot, C. G. (Charles Greeley), 1872-1973. Oral history interviews with Charles G. Abbot [sound recording] / 1973. Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Schwarzschild, K. (Karl), 1873-1916. Papers. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Weber, Louis Russell, 1901-1989. Biographical sketch of Charles Greeley Abbot, ca. 1973. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Walter S. (Walter Sydney), 1876-1956 person
associatedWith Aldrich, Loyal B. person
associatedWith American Astronomical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Cannon, Joseph G. person
associatedWith Carnegie Institution of Washington. corporateBody
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Clayton, Henry Helm, 1861-1946. person
correspondedWith Coblentz, William W. (William Weber), 1873-1962. person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith General Electric Company corporateBody
associatedWith Goddard, Robert Hutchings, 1882-1945. person
associatedWith Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938. person
associatedWith Knight, William H. (William Henry), 1835-1925. person
associatedWith Langley, Samuel P. person
associatedWith Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906. person
associatedWith Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1949 person
associatedWith Massachusetts Institute of Technology corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Montezuma Station (Calama, Chile) corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Wilson Observatory. corporateBody
associatedWith Pettit, Edison, 1889-1962. person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
correspondedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
associatedWith Schwarzschild, K. (Karl), 1873-1916. person
associatedWith Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory corporateBody
associatedWith Smithsonian Institution. corporateBody
associatedWith Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith Table Mountain Station (Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Teale, Edwin Way, 1899- person
associatedWith Tolman, Ruel Pardee, 1878- person
associatedWith Weber, Louis Russell, 1901-1989. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Sun
United States--Massachusetts
Massachusetts--Cambridge--United States
Washington (D.C.)
Subject
Astrophysics--Societies
Physicists--Intellectual life
Solar radiation--Measurement
Physics--Study and teaching (Graduate)--19th century
Stars--Spectra
Stars--Temperature
Solar energy
Scientific expeditions
Astrophysics
Solar eclipses
Astrophysicists--Biography
Celebrities
Pyroheliometers
Weather forecasting
Patents
Gyroscopes
Rocketry
Astrophysical observatories
Astrophysics--Awards
Solar constant--Measurement
Astronomy and astrophysics
Meteorology
Inertial navigation systems
Solar physics
Occupation
Astronomers
Physicists
Activity

Person

Birth 1872-05-31

Death 1973-12-17

Americans

English

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