Brewster, David, 1781-1868

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Natural philosopher and Fellow of the Royal Society.

From the description of Autograph letters, 1819-1867 and n.d. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78354815

Scottish physicist.

From the description of David Brewster papers, 1836-1857, [Edinburgh]. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 34847956

Educated for the Church of Scotland at Edinburgh University, but due to a form of nervousness gave up a clerical life and in 1802 became editor of the 'Edinburgh Magazine.' From 1801 to 1807 he acted as a tutor. F. R. S. 1815. Copley medallist Royal Society 1815. Rumford medallist R. S. 1818 and Royal Medallist R. S. 1830. Invented the kaleidoscope 1816. He wrote an enormous amount on scientific subjects of all kinds. Knighted 1831 and received a pension. Principal of St. Salvators and St. Leonards at St. Andrews 1838. Chancellor of Edinburgh University, 1859-1868.

From the description of Items in various series of The Royal Society, 1813-1867. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84584445

Sir David Brewster was a Scottish natural philosopher and principal of Edinburgh University.

From the description of Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1845. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 191213841

Physicist.

From the description of Sir David Brewster correspondence, 1827. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79454282

Brewster was a Scottish physicist and natural philosopher.

From the description of Letter and a portrait, 1868. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83975594

Scottish physicist (optics) and Fellow of the Royal Society.

From the description of 22 letters, 1820-1838. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155005531

Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867) was an important scientific reformer during the early nineteenth century. From his position as superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, and through leadership roles in the scientific institutions of the time, Bache helped bring American science into alignment with the professional nature of its European counterpart. In addition, Bache fostered the reform of public education in America.

On July 19, 1806 Alexander Dallas Bache was born into one of Philadelphia's elite families. The son of Richard Bache and Sophia Dallas, he was Benjamin Franklin's great-grandson, nephew to George Dallas (vice president under James K. Polk), and grandson to Alexander James Dallas (secretary of the treasury under James Madison). In 1821, Bache was admitted to the United States Military Academy at the age of 15, graduating first in his class four years later. He remained at the Academy for an additional two years to teach mathematics and natural history. While serving as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, working on the construction of Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., he met Nancy Clarke Fowler whom he would later marry.

Bache left the Army in 1828 to begin an academic career, accepting an appointment as professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Although his scientific interests were broad, he had a particular interest in geophyscial research. While in Philadelphia, he constructed a magnetic observatory, and made extensive research into terrestrial magnetism, and during the 1830s he began to be recognized as a leading figure in the city's scientific community. Bache was an active member of the American Philosphical Society and the Franklin Institute, seeking to raise the professional standards of both institutions and urging them to place a stronger emphasis on original research. While at the Franklin Institute from 1830-1835, Bache led a Federally-funded investigation into steam-boiler explosions, the government's first use of technical experts to examine a matter involving public policy.

In 1836 Bache became interested in educational reform when he was asked to help organize the curriculum at Girard College, of which he later served as president. Bache spent two years in Europe visiting over 250 educational institutions. The result of his visit was a 600 page study, Report on Education in Europe, to the Trustees of the Girard College for Orphans published in 1839. Although Bache was unable to apply the report at Girard College because of its delayed opening, it proved useful in overhauling the curriculum of Philadelphia's Central High School, where he was superintendent from 1839-1842, and was widely influential among American educational reformers, helping to introduce the Prussian educational model to the United States.

After meeting many of the leading savants during a European tour, including Alexander von Humboldt, Francois Arago, and Karl Friedrich Gauss, Bache became convinced of the need to professionalize American science. His opportunity to make an impact came in 1843 with the death of Ferdinand Hassler, superindendent of the U.S. Coast Survey. In the years before the Civil War, the Coast Survey supported more scientists then any other institution in the country, and Bache and his colleagues saw the Survey as a means of gaining federal patronage for science. After a campaign by his friends and colleagues, Bache was named as Hassler's replacement. Over the next two decades Bache transformed the Coast Survey into one of the nation's leading scientific institutions, becoming an important patron of science himself in the process . Bache was not just an administrator, but remained personally involved in field work.

Bache also led the reform of American science through his leadership of an elite group known as the "Lazzaroni" or scientific beggars. The goal of the Lazzaroni was to ensure that the nation's leading scientists kept control of the nation's scientific institutions, and they were instrumental in reforming the American Association for the Advancement of Science (of which Bache was president of in 1850). In his remarkably busy schedule, Bache was a member of the Lighthouse Board (1844-1845), superintendent of the Office of Weights and Measures (1844), and a prominent regent for the Smithsonian Institution, where he convinced fellow Lazzaroni Joseph Henry to become its first secretary. Bache also played a leading role in the creation of the National Academy of Sciences, serving as its first president. When the Americn Civil War broke out, Bache focused the Coast Survey to support the war effort, was vice president of the Sanitary Commision, a consultant to the army and navy on battle plans, a superintended for Philadelphia's defence plans, and a member of the Permanent Commission of the navy in charge of evaluating new weapons. Bache died in Newport, R.I. on February 17, 1867.

From the guide to the A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Letter from David Brewster to Mr or Mrs Monteith, 1849, 31 Oct 1849 University of St Andrews
creatorOf Nichol, J. P. (John Pringle), 1804-1859. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Literary and Philosophical Society of St Andrews, 1830-1916 University of St Andrews
referencedIn Albert Stephens Borgman autograph collection, 1600-1950. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Letter: 1827 Mar. 26, 10 Coates Crescent [Edinburgh] to David Laing, South Bridge Street, Edin. / D. Brewster. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Autograph letters, 1819-1867 and n.d. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Letters from Sir David Brewster, with related material. University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Leeds University Library
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Autograph letter signed : to T.G. Lockhart, 1830 Apr. 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Smaller Collections of Correspondence, including Letters of: Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), 1807-1867 Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Rosenstock autograph collection, 1800-1950 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Autograph letter signed : St. Leonard's College, to Lady Kinnaird, 1850 Oct. 30. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Irvine, Alexander, 1863-1941. Autograph Collection of Alexander Irvine. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-[ongoing]. Records, 1783-1985. American Institute of Physics
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Letter : St. Andrews, to Mrs. [Richard] Michell, 1841 Sept. 4. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Donald Hyde and Mary Hyde Eccles Autograph Collection, 1505-1957 (inclusive), 1702-1854 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Album materials, 1777-1925 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Sir David Brewster correspondence, 1827. Library of Congress
creatorOf A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Letter: 1864 May 23, Allerby, Melrose, to David Laing / D. Brewster. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
referencedIn English Scientific Autograph Collection, [ca. 19th century]. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Henderson, Ebenezer, 1809-1879. Letter: 1866 Nov. 3, Astral Villa, Muchart, Perthshire, to David Laing, Edinburgh / E. Henderson. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Manuscript Albums, 1615 - 1959 Newcastle University: Special Collections
referencedIn Fifteen letters from David Brewster to various recipients, 1821-1867., 1821-1867 University of St Andrews
creatorOf Sir David Brewster letters, 1837-1844 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Scientists Collection, 1563-1973 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Autograph File, B, ca.1500-1976. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. 22 letters, 1820-1838. American Institute of Physics
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Letter and a portrait, 1868. American Primers
creatorOf Miller, Hugh, 1802-1856. Copy of a letter signed : Edinburgh, to Sir David Brewster, 1850 Oct. 29. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn National portrait gallery of illustrious and eminent personages of the nineteenth century, extra-illustrated Houghton Library.
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Letter, 1819-1839. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Edgeworth, Maria, 1767-1849. Autograph letter signed : Edgeworthstown, to D. Brewster, 1826 Apr. 22. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Brasch, Frederick E. (Frederick Edward), 1875-1967,. The Frederick E. Brasch collection of Sir Isaac Newton manuscripts and related materials on the history of scientific thought, 1684-1949. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Papers of James David Forbes, 1785-1968 University of St Andrews
referencedIn John F. Glaser collection of historical autograph letters and manuscripts, 1739-1933. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Items in various series of The Royal Society, 1813-1867. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Records of the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard in the University of St Andrews, 1530-1962 University of St Andrews
creatorOf Herschel Family. Papers, 1721-1951, (bulk 1810-1871). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Amy Hemenway collection of autographs, 1791-1873. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Boswell's Life of Johnson : including Boswell's Journal of a tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a journey into North Wales, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1464-1897 (inclusive), 1724-1874 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Portrait file: Guide. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Early Photography Collection of St Andrews University Library, 1842-1870 University of St Andrews
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1845. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn English Scientific Autograph Collection, [ca. 19th century], Circa 19th century American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Palfrey family papers, 1713-1915. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Allibone, S. Austin (Samuel Austin), 1816-1889. Papers of S. Austin Allibone, 1848-1887. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn F W Rudler Papers, [ca. 1835]-1912 Aberystwyth University
referencedIn Sir James Paget correspondence, 1784-1932, 1784-1932 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Barchas, Cecile M.,. Portrait prints of scientists, 1473-1898. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868. David Brewster papers, 1836-1857, [Edinburgh]. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
referencedIn John Edward Gray papers, 1783-1884, 1783-1884 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith Airy, George Biddell, Sir, 1801-1892. person
associatedWith Allibone, S. Austin (Samuel Austin), 1816-1889. person
associatedWith Aylesworth, Barton O. (Barton Orville), 1860-1933 person
associatedWith Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871 person
associatedWith Bache, A. D., (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867 person
associatedWith Bache, Albert Dabadie, 1832-1895 person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith Barnes, H. B. (Henry Broughton) person
associatedWith Bond, W. C. (William Cranch), 1789-1859 person
associatedWith Borgman, Albert Stephens, 1890-1954 person
correspondedWith Boswell, James, 1740-1795 person
associatedWith Brasch, Frederick E. (Frederick Edward), 1875-1967, person
associatedWith Brewster, David person
associatedWith Brewster, Sir David person
associatedWith Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871 person
associatedWith Cheney, T. Apoleon (Theseus Apoleon), 1830-1878 person
associatedWith Combe, George, 1788-1858 person
associatedWith Cooper, Peter, 1791-1883 person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Coventry, Andrew. person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Dickins, Asbury, 1780-1861 person
associatedWith Edgeworth, Maria, 1767-1849. person
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fessenden, W. P. (William Pitt), 1806-1869 person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith Glaser, John F., collector. person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Gray, John Edward person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith Hale, Charles person
associatedWith Hale, Charles, 1831-1882 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
associatedWith Hemenway, Amy, collector. person
associatedWith Henderson, Ebenezer, 1809-1879. person
associatedWith Herschel Family. family
associatedWith Herschel, John F. W. (John Frederick William), Sir, 1792-1871. person
associatedWith Hilgard, Julius Erasmus, 1825-1891 person
associatedWith History of Medicine Collections (Duke University) corporateBody
associatedWith Hunt, Robert, 1807-1887. person
associatedWith Irvine, Alexander, 1863-1941. person
associatedWith James David Forbes person
correspondedWith Jerdan, William, 1782-1869 person
associatedWith King, Horatio, 1811-1897 person
associatedWith Kinnaird, Lady, person
associatedWith Lee, Samuel Phillips, 1812-1897 person
associatedWith Literary and Philosophical Society of St Andrews corporateBody
associatedWith Lockhart, T. G., person
associatedWith Lubbock, J. W. (John William), Sir, 1803-1865. person
associatedWith MacLaurin, Colin, 1698-1746. person
correspondedWith Michell, Richard, Mrs. person
associatedWith Miller, Hugh, 1802-1856. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Maria, 1818-1889 person
associatedWith Nacleod, N. D. person
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Nichol, J. P. (John Pringle), 1804-1859. person
associatedWith Ørsted, Hans Christian, 1777-1851. person
associatedWith Paget, James, Sir, 1814-1899 person
associatedWith Paine, Robert Treat, 1803-1885 person
associatedWith Paine, R. T. person
correspondedWith Palfrey family. family
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Potter, Alonzo, 1800-1865 person
associatedWith Quetelet, Adolphe, 1796-1874 person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Redfield, W. C. (William C.), 1789-1857 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Rosenstock, Fred A., b. 1895 person
associatedWith Royal Society (Great Britain) corporateBody
associatedWith Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-[ongoing]. corporateBody
associatedWith Ruggles, Samuel B., (Samuel Bulkley), 1800-1881 person
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
associatedWith Sabine, Edward, Sir, 1788-1883. person
associatedWith Schofield, John McAllister, 1831-1906 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Schumacher, Heinrich Christian, 1780-1850 person
associatedWith Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872 person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Sir David Brewster person
associatedWith Sparkes, Jared person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Spencer, Charles Achilles, 1813-1881 person
associatedWith St Andrews University Library corporateBody
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associatedWith Stevenson, Alan, 1807-1865 person
associatedWith Stevenson, David person
associatedWith Stevenson, David, 1815-1886 person
associatedWith Stevenson, Robert, 1772-1850 person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith Talbot, William Henry Fox, 1800-1877. person
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Tilghman, Tench, 1810-1874 person
associatedWith Toucey, Isaac, 1792-1869 person
associatedWith United College of St Salvator and St Leonard in the University of St Andrews corporateBody
associatedWith Upsher, Able Percey person
associatedWith Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873 person
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Scotland
Subject
Letters--19th century
Geology
Geological Survey of the State of New Jersey
Engineering
Education
Portraits, British 19th century
Photography
Light
Natural history
Photography--Early works to 1850
Naturalists--Correspondence
Cooper Union
Calotype
Physicists--Correspondence
Early National Politics
Lighthouse
Photographs--19th century
Science
Antebellum Politics
United States Coast Survey
National Academy of Sciences
Science and technology
Kaleidoscopes
Girard College
Occupation
Physicists
Function

Person

Birth 1781-12-11

Death 1868-02-10

Britons

English

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