Abney, William de Wiveleslie (1843 - 1920)
W. Abney was born in Derby on the 24 July 1843 as the son of a clergyman. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy he served with the Royal Engineers in India. In 1869, back in England, he worked at the Chatham School of Military Engineering. There he started his work on photography, his book 'Instructions in Photography' (1871) became a standard text.

His first publication on astronomy was a report on the expedition he led to Egypt to photograph the transit of Venus in 1874. Abney was member of the Royal Photographic Society and served as its president in the years 1892-94 and 1896. He was also member of the Royal Astronomical Society (president 1893-95) and of the Pysical Society (president 1895-97). In 1882 he was awarded the Rumford Medal for his spectrographic work He was knighted in 1900.

W. Abney de Wiveleslie died in Folkestone on the 2 December 1920.

Reference(s):
Dictionary of Scientific Biography
Vol. 1 (1980), p. 21-22, incl. Bibliography.


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