Page 826
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
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



Contact us

The International Scene

Overseas meteorologists took a very keen interest in Australia from the earliest times. In London the Royal Society organised the establishment of a chain of observatories in the southern hemisphere although the venture did not have a long life. Hepworth, the Lockyer brothers, and other sea travellers speculated regarding the circulation of the southern hemisphere. The British meteorologist R. Abercromby was an inveterate world traveller who visited Australia in the latter part of the 19th century. In 1892 he gave the Royal Society a sum of one hundred pounds to promote the study of Australian meteorology by offering prizes for essays upon particular phases of the weather and as rewards for special investigations, suggesting that the subject of the first essay should be 'The Southerly Buster'. The prize of twenty-five pounds for the best essay on this subject was awarded to Henry A. Hunt, then second meteorological assistant of the Sydney Observatory, for a paper that he had completed in May 1894. A later paper by Hunt 'Types of Australian Weather' was published in 1895 and his paper was prepared at Abercromby's expense and edited by H. C. Russell. Hunt later became the first Commonwealth Director of Meteorology.

Australia was represented in international meteorology at an early stage, both Neumayer and Wragge attending conferences of the International Meteorological Organization in Europe before the turn of the century.

International Meteorological Congress

International Meteorological Congress held at Munich, Germany, in 1891. Clement Wragge is third from the left in the second row, and Georg von Neumayer is second from the right in the front row

People in Bright Sparcs - Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Neumayer, Georg Balthazar; Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Wragge, Clement Lindley

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher