RUTHERFURD, LEWIS MORRIS. 1816-1892.
A view of the Moon, from New York, March 6, 1865, albumen print mounted, 9½ x 7½ inches (240 x 190 mm), dated and inscribed below in ink to "Mr Airy, with respects of Lewis M. Rutherfurd."
A CIVIL WAR-ERA PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MOON AS SEEN FROM MANHATTANINSCRIBED BY ONE GREAT ASTRONOMER TO ANOTHER. Rutherfurd trained as a lawyer, but in 1849 he changed direction, had an observatory built at his home at 11th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York, and spent the rest of his life working on astronomical photography and spectroscopy.
Sir George Biddell Airy [1801-1892] was Astronomer Royal from 1835 to 1881, and was responsible for establishing Greenwich as the location of the prime meridian. Photography appealed to Airy as a method for "self-registration" a way to eliminate the discrepancies that arose as each observer tried to reproduce what he saw through the telescope. On November 1, 1865, Airy wrote to Rutherfurd that "I had long looked to self-registration generally, and to that by photography in particular, as likely more than anything else to advance observing science" (quoted by Rothermel p 168).
Auction terms and conditions