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Digital Photograph - Portrait of Edward J. White, First Assistant Astronomer, Melbourne Observatory, circa 1880 Image Reg. No: MM 98418

Digital copy of portrait of Edward J. White, First Assistant Astronomer at Melbourne Observatory. Portrait taken by Johnstone O'Shannessy & Co, Melbourne, circa 1880
Original photograph in mount board.
Statement Of Significance:
Edward J. White (1831-1913) was First Assistant Astronomer at Melbourne Observatory. White joined Williamstown Observatory as assistant astronomer in 1860, moved to Melbourne Observatory when it was established in 1863, and remained as First Assistant Astronomer until his retirement in 1892.

White was responsible at the Observatory for the main transit observations, both to establish local standard time, and for preparation of star catalogues of southern hemisphere stars. He also undertook most of the detailed mathematical work required to reduce each observation and determine its precise position for the star catalogues.

White resided in one of the two houses built for the astronomers adjacent to the Observatory near St Kilda Road; Government Astronomer Robert Ellery lived in the other. Even after he retired in 1892, White continued to reside in the house until his death, the rent deducted from his pension. He continued to undertake work for the Observatory on a casual basis, continuing work on reducing star observations for publication.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Karen White, 2009
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: astronomy, portraits, observatories
Themes this item is part of: Melbourne Observatory Collection, Science & Measurement Collection, Mapping the Stars at Melbourne Observatory
Primary Classification: ASTRONOMY
Secondary Classification: Research
Tertiary Classification: observatories
Inscriptions: Mount board printed: 'Johnstone O'Shannessy & Co, 92 Elizabeth St, Melb.'
Format: Digital Still Image: Black & White
Photographer: Johnstone O'Shannessy & Co, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1880
Person Depicted: Mr. Edward White - Melbourne Observatory, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia, circa 1880
References: Diary of Edward J. White, 1850-1913, State Library of Victoria, MS 13122.
Robert Ellery, Presidential Address, 8 July 1872, Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, v 10, 1870-73.

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