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Table of Contents

Origins of Australian Meteorology



The Origins of Australian Meteorology
FitzRoy and Maury
Thomas Brisbane
Phillip Parker King
Charles Todd
Ellery and Neumayer
Henry Chamberlain Russell
Clement Wragge
The International Scene
The End of the Beginning

Appendix 1: Chronological Chart of Early Meteorologists



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Ellery and Neumayer (continued)

Neumayer established a number of observing stations throughout Victoria, principally in lighthouses, to supplement his observatory on Flagstaff Hill in Melbourne. It is a remarkable fact that all of this activity was carried out by Neumayer as a private individual with assistance principally from King Maximilian. However, in 1859 the colony of Victoria recognised his efforts and appointed him Government Astronomer.

Neumayer took a very active part in the scientific life of Melbourne and published a number of papers in the transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria. Neumayer left Victoria in 1863 and with the formation of the German empire was appointed as the first hydrographer of the German Naval Observatory in 1874, which post he retained until 1903 when he retired at the age of 78.

The parallels between Maury, FitzRoy, Todd and Neumayer are inescapable. Like FitzRoy and Maury, Neumayer was a seaman although his career was in reverse order to that of FitzRoy and Maury. They were seamen who became scientists. Neumayer was a scientist who became a seaman. Like Todd, Neumayer had an indefatigable energy which left a permanent mark on Australian meteorology and like Todd he enjoyed a vigorous life to a ripe old age.

With Neumayer's departure Ellery took over the post of Government Astronomer. Ellery maintained and increased the network of stations established by Neumayer and commenced collecting observations by telegraph and preparing daily weather charts, one of the earliest being that appearing in the Argus in 1881, along with regular forecasts.

Ellery retired in 1895 and was succeeded by P. Baracchi who continued the issue of regular synoptic charts and forecasts.

People in Bright Sparcs - Baracchi, Pietro; Ellery, Robert Lewis John; FitzRoy, Robert; King, Phillip Parker; Maury, Matthew Fontaine; Neumayer, Georg Balthazar; Todd, Charles

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Gibbs, W. J. 1998 'The Origins of Australian Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 12 June 1998, Bureau of Meteorology

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