Reference numberMS/626
TitleTenerife Papers of Charles Piazzi Smyth
CreatorSmyth, Charles Piazzi (1819-1900) Astronomer
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.
Extent1 volume; 1 box, MS Box, Large at Bay 060
Physical descriptionPaper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
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 materialDOI: 10.1098/rstl.1858.0025
DOI: 10.1098/rspl.1856.0138
Article 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)
Related records in the catalogueRR/3/255
Fellows associated with this archive
NA3757Smyth; Charles Piazzi (1819 - 1900)1819 - 1900
NA8035Airy; Sir; George Biddell (1801 - 1892); astronomer and mathematician1801 - 1892
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