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T. English (Guilford Tech. Comm. Coll.), G. Riggsbee (Charlotte Am. Ast. Soc.)
Wadesboro, North Carolina was the site of choice for observing the total solar eclipse of 1900 May 28. According to a regional newspaper, “the town was full of professional and amateur observers and telescopes of all sorts and sizes.” And indeed it was. Four major expeditions (Yerkes, Smithsonian, Princeton, and the BAA) were dispatched to Wadesboro, and at least a dozen other institutions were represented there.
The giants of American astrophysics - three generations of them - were on site, including Charles A. Young, Samuel P. Langley, George Ellery Hale, and Henry Norris Russell. But the observing grounds were thick with other notables, including several future college presidents and deans, government and public officials, and important contributors to a variety of fields of research and technology.
In compiling a “who’s who of Wadesboro,” we have collected scientific and biographical information about almost all of the observers noted in popular and technical published accounts of the eclipse at Wadesboro, and have identified several unknowns in noted Wadesboro expedition photographs. We have also clarified the identity and pedigree of Nevil Maskelyne, a member of the British expedition who took the first successful moving pictures of an eclipse in Wadesboro, and who claimed relation to the fifth Astronomer Royal.
The poster title is from an account by Gertrude Bacon, an aviation pioneer and author, and a member of the British Wadesboro expedition.
This research was supported in part by the Herbert C. Pollock Award of the Dudley Observatory.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.