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George Mathews Whipple (1842-1893), Superintendent of Kew Observatory
1871 Birth of son Robert
1893 Died at Richmond
"Death of Mr. George Mathews Whipple.—-We take the following from yesterday’s Times: The death took place yesterday at his residence, in Richmond, of Mr. George Mathews Whipple, superintendent of the Kew Observatory. Mr. Whipple had suffered from a painful internal complaint, but until a fortnight ago he was approaching convalescence, and his death was therefore unexpected. He was 50 years of age. He entered the Kew Observatory in 1858, and in 1862 became magnetic assistant. In 1866 the first set of results of sun-spot measurements was published, under the title of “Researches on Solar Physics.” Most of the measurements were Mr. Whipple’s, and subsequent editions of the work were under his direction. Mr. Whipple made a special study of wind force and wind velocities. He was, throughout the greater part of his life, constantly carrying on experiments with a view to determine wind force and to find out what were the best instruments for securing accuracy of results. In 1874 he made a series of experiments at the Crystal Palace with the object of finding the constants of Robinson’s anemometers ; these were afterwards continued in another form, in conjunction with Mr. Dines. Mr. Whipple designed the apparatus used for testing the dark shades of sextants and other optical instruments; and also introduced several improvements in the Kew pattern magnetic instruments. In 1873 he was engaged with Captain Heaviside in making a series of pendulum experiments to determine the force of gravity. In 1881 these experiments were repeated in association with Major Herschel, F.R.S., and in 1888 with General Walker, F.R.S. He has contributed a number of important papers to the Royal Society. He was appointed superintendent of Kew Observatory in 1876, and for the past 16 years he has also contributed results of investigations to the Royal Meteorological Society and to photographic publications. The magnetic part of the report of the committee of the Royal Society, which met to discuss the Krakatoa eruption and the subsequent phenomena, were written by him."