Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Young Winslow Upton

Imagine Lovecraft at the side of Upton!
As a youth, himself, Upton was a wag:
The Observatory Pinnafore:
We work from morn til night // For computing is our duty;
We're faithful and polite. // And our record book's a beauty;
With Crelle and Gauss, Chauvenet and Peirce, // We labor hard all day;
We add, subtract, multiply and divide, // And we never have time to play.
The astronomer had seen a bootlegged copy of HMA Pinnafore in 1878 and snagged a copy of the score and wrote the parody next August (1879).
When Computers Were Human By David Alan Grier
The book discusses portions of an unpublished 1880 document, and we find that fictional Upton is about to lose his place at Harvard, and is relegated to Providence at an inferior facility (previous to Ladd being built) the hobby telescope of an unnamed businessman - and therefore a tainted and unworthy facility. Legend has it that the Ladd was built because the up and coming - then famous - Upton would not stay at Brown without a prestigious and powerful scope. His (1880) Harvard boss, E C Pickering was tolerant and had women "computers" as well as men, and worked to have good living environment from all the mathematics and calculations that was being done.

No comments:


Blog Archive


Google Analytics