Oral history interview with Theodore Dunham, 1977 April 30 and 14 April 1978.


Oral history interview with Theodore Dunham, 1977 April 30 and 14 April 1978.

Extensive interview covering early life and family in New York and Maine; schooling and early interests in astronomy in New York City; observing Halley's comet in 1910; World War I and college years at Harvard University majoring in chemistry; medical degree from Cornell University; contacts with Henry Norris Russell and Harlow Shapley, and decision to move into astronomy; graduate work at Princeton; postdoctoral work and staff position at Mt. Wilson in the 1930s; interests in instrumentation and planetary atmospheres; the role of the Schmidt Camera in spectroscopy; planetary spectroscopy and the nature of the interstellar medium; founding of the FAR (Fund for Astronomical Research); World war II and work in optics for the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD); travels to Britain during the war; decision to leave astronomy after the war; move to Rochester for biophysical research; return to astronomy in 1952. The second interview concentrates on his contacts with Henry Norris Russell and activities during World War II.

Transcript, 128 p.


SNAC Resource ID: 8308274

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64n9x97 (person)

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Dunham, Theodore, 1897-1984.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jb3z39 (person)

DeVorkin, David H., 1944-....

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65x2b2g (person)

Russell, Henry Norris, 1877-1957

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qj7jnn (person)

Astronomer (stellar evolution, astrophysics of stars, double stars) and administrator. On the astronomy faculty at Princeton University from 1905, director of the observatory, 1912-1947; research associate at Mt. Wilson Observatory, 1922-1942; and at Harvard College Observatory, 1947-1952. From the description of Manuscript of article, The probable distance of Orion, and letter to Russell from Edwin B. Frost, editor of the Astronomical Journal, rejecting the manuscript for publicatio...