The popularization of astronomy in the United States of America subsequent to the transits of Venus of 1874 and 1882 and the total solar eclipses of 1868, 1869 and 1878

Cottam, Stella E. (2011) The popularization of astronomy in the United States of America subsequent to the transits of Venus of 1874 and 1882 and the total solar eclipses of 1868, 1869 and 1878. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Thesis) - Submitted Version
Download (6MB) | Preview
 
403


Abstract

During its formative years of the early nineteenth century, the United States of America was struggling to define its system of government and establish an infrastructure that would assure economic and social success. Initially government priorities did not support the search for knowledge for its own sake. This would change over the years with the young country’s increased stability. Significant astronomical events of the second half of the century, e.g. certain solar eclipses and the two transits of Venus, provided the former colonies with opportunities to prove their ability to take a more proactive role in the pursuit of science. Significant technological advances during the century concurrently permitted a lifestyle of more leisure time among the general public. These same astronomical events generated considerable public interest and, with their increased leisure time, interested citizens were enabled to pursue this interest on various levels. Degrees of interest ranged from the casual satisfaction of curiosity to the desire to actively participate in astronomical endeavors. Numbers and anecdotal evidence have been provided demonstrating an increase throughout this range.

Item ID: 28364
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: 19th century, amateur astronomy, America, eclipses, history, nineteenth century, observations, popular astronomy, total solar eclipses, transits of Venus, United States of America
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2014 05:43
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210312 North American History @ 50%
02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020108 Planetary Science (excl Extraterrestrial Geology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 403
Last 12 Months: 12
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page