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Subseries 1. Samuel Pierpoint Langley, 1850-1896, 1899

Scope and Content Notes:

Samuel Pierpoint Langley was born in Roxbury, MA, on August 22, 1834 and was Director of the observatory from 1867-1887. After graduating from the Boston Latin School, he studied civil engineering and architecture. His first employment was as an assistant in the Observatory at Harvard University; soon afterwards he became an instructor at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. In 1867 Langley became the Director of the Allegheny Observatory which had been transferred from private hands to the Western University of Pennsylvania; at the same time he was elected to the chair of Astronomy and Physics at the University.

Langley's main field of interest was the sun. He made detailed drawings of sunspots, invented the bolometer (an instrument to measure the amount of heat in different parts of the sun's spectrum), and obtained accurate time by using the telescope and positions of the stars. He also made accurate time available to Pittsburgh, City Hall, and to local railroads--even the U.S. Naval Observatory used his system (Allegheny System) to supply the correct time to the nation. During his term Mr. William Thaw contributed much money to the Observatory as did Andrew Carnegie who stated: "This was my first considerable gift to an institution of learning." Langley left to become first assistant secretary and then secretary to the Smithsonian Institute. He remained in that position until his death in 1906. Samuel Pierpont Langley died in Aiken, South Carolina, on February 26, 1906.


Box 1
Folder 1 A
Folder 2 Ba-Be
Folder 3 Bi-Bu
Folder 4 Ca-Coo
Folder 5 Cop-De
Folder 6 Du-El
Folder 7 Er-Gilb
Folder 8 Gill-Gr
Folder 9 Ha-Hilga
Folder 10 Hilge-Ho
Folder 11 Hu-Ki
Folder 12 Ki-Lel
Folder 13 Les-Lone
Folder 14-18 Longitude
Folder 19 Lou-McG

Includes McConnel letter.

Folder 20 McI-Mai
Folder 21 Mal-May
Folder 22 Maz-Mid
Folder 23 Mil-Mt
Folder 24 Mu-Na
Folder 25 Ne-Ob

Box 2
Folder 26 Oi-Pee
Folder 27 Pem-Pen
Folder 28 Ph-Pi
Folder 29 Po-Rei
Folder 30 Rep-Roq
Folder 31 Roo-Sal
Folder 32 San-Sl
Folder 33 Smil-Smit
Folder 34 Sny-Stev
Folder 35 Stew-Te
Folder 36-42 Thaw
Folder 43 Th-Ts
Folder 44-45 U.S. Signal
Folder 46 U.S. Government Printing - U.S. Navy
Folder 47 Up-Was
Folder 48 Wat-We
Folder 49 Wht
Folder 50 Why-Y
Folder 50A Addendum, 1871-1899
To: Barns, Carl B. (U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.), March 31, 1886-November 14, 1887
To: Pennsylvania Company (O.H. Booth, Superintendent, Mansfield, Ohio), March 18, 1873
From: Goff, M.B. (Chancellor, Western University of Pennsylvania), November 30, 1899
From: Meysan, Charles, esq. (Pittsburgh), December 2, 1871