Record

Reference numberMS/626
LevelSubFonds
TitleTenerife Papers of Charles Piazzi Smyth
Date1857
DescriptionManuscript of a Paper 'Astronomical Experiment on the Peak of Tenerife, carried out under the sanction of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. By Professor C. Piazzi Smyth. Communicated by G.B.Airy, Esq., Astronomer Royal' in 'Philosophical Transactions' Volume 148 (1858) pages 465-534. Folder of drawings and watercolours, including tipped-in stereoscopic cards. Received 2 June 1857, read 18 June 1857. Last two pages in the manuscript provide an explanatory account of the photographs, how they were taken and developed, and what materials were used.
LanguageEnglish
Extent1 volume; 1 box, MS Box, Large at Bay 060
Physical descriptionPaper
Access statusOpen
Administrative historyThe 1856 expedition to the rugged volcanic mountain of Tenerife in the Canary Islands was an accomplishment which transformed the relatively unknown son of a famous admiral into an international scientific figure. It was also the focus of important and extensive activity in photographic publishing. It was this trip to Teneriffe which gave Smyth his entry into the elite scientific community. It also marked a turning point regarding his use of photography, having been certainly almost the first to experiment with calotypes at the Cape of Good Hope, and received his instruction from Talbot, Herschel and Hunt. The major donation for the expedition came from Robert Stephenson, who had read Smyth's 1855 'Royal Observatory of Edinburgh Report' and offered Smyth passage to Tenerife aboard his iron hulled yacht, the 'Titania', handing it to him for his exclusive use for the expedition in 1856, which departed from Cowes on 24 June. Santa Cruz was reached on 8 July
Related materialArticle by Piazzi Smyth 'Astronomical Experiment on the Peak of Teneriffe, Carried Out Under the Sanction of the Lord's Commissioners of the Admiralty' in 'Philosophical Transactions' 1858, Volume 148 pages 465-534; article by Larry Schaaf, 'Piazzi Smyth at Tenerife'- Part 1 The Expedition and the Resulting Book' in 'History of Photography, Volume 4, Number 4, October 1980 and Part 2, 'Photography and the Disciples of Constable and Harding' in 'History of Photography, Volume 5, Number 1, January 1981 (Royal Society Library, Tracts X473/8, and Tracts X473/9)
Fellows associated with this archive
CodeNameDates
NA3757Smyth; Charles Piazzi (1819 - 1900)1819 - 1900
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