Francis John Welsh Whipple: Notes and Papers

Scope and Content

Observations, notes and drafts, with related correspondence.

1-12. Notes and correspondence

1. Obituary notice of Francis John Welsh Whipple, reprinted from Proceedings of the Physical Society, Vol. LV, 1943.

2. Patent No. 19055, 20 August 1912, 'Improvements in indicators'.

3. Folder of notes, diagrams and drafts on the 'Mechanism of Cyclones', 1917.

4. Correspondence with L.F. Richardson and Gilbert D. West on Thermal transpiration, 1919-1922.

5. Folder, 'Meteorological Office - Articles on Ice Pinnacles and Ice Crystals', containing notes, diagrams and drafts for articles; correspondence with Sir William Bragg on the structure of ice crystals, 1922-1924.

6. Notes and correspondence 'on rainbow colours', 1926; notes and correspondence on 'dissipation coefficient for small ions in air free from Aitken nuclei', 1940.

7. Notebook, 'Cloud Observation at Kew Observatory 1929'; MS, 'Cloud Diagrams and Comparisons with Cloud Photographs', dated 17/7/29.

8. Folder of notes on 'The Colour and spectrum of lightning' and 'The intensity of sky-radiation during twilight' by Whipple and others, 1929.

9. Folder, 'Effect of Grass on Earth Temperature at Kew', with related correspondence, 1931-1938.

10. Folder, 1937, 'Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research - Request for information regarding Atmospheric Pollution', containing notes and observations, 'The part played by foreign particles in the production of fog', and correspondence with Sir Frank Smith.

11. Folder of seismological observations, with correspondence on equipment, 1939.

12. Correspondence and notes on mathematics with T.W. Chaundy, 1943.

13-17. Miscellaneous drafts and notes

13. 'A modification of Sommerfeld's Methods'.

14. 'A note on the analysis of variation by the use of orthogonal polynomials'.

15. 'Law of Approach to Geostrophic Wind. Extended Investigation, Rough Ms.', notes, observations and drafts on radiation, turbulence, eddy viscosity, etc., ?1920-1923.

16. 'On the Approach of the Centroid to the Theory of Regular Polygons', and other mathematical notes.

17. Miscellaneous notes and drafts on haloes and arcs.

18-20. Work on meteors

18. 'Siberian Meteor Notes + Taylor's Weave Theory'.

19. 'On the Inaudibility of Meteors travelling at Great Heights'.

20. Drafts for papers on meteors.

21. Correspondence of John Welsh

3 letters to John Welsh from John Allan Broun, whom Welsh worked with in Edinburgh in 1853: 1851 (from Paris), 1853 and 1859 (from the Trevandrum Observatory, Travancore).

13 letters from John Welsh to his mother, 1844 and 1857-1858, from Scotland and the Western Islands. The later letters refer to the lung infection from which he died in 1859.

1 letter and sheet of observations, 1861, from Sir Thomas Makdougall-Brisbane, founder of the Mackerstoun Observatory, Kelso.

1 letter from Thomas Blakiston, 1857, from Hudson's Bay.

Administrative / Biographical History

Francis John Welsh Whipple (1876-1943) was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He worked as a mathematics teacher at his old school, 1899-1914, before becoming Superintendent of Instruments at the Meteorological Office, Kew Observatory, in 1914. He was Superintendent at the observatory, 1925-1939, and served as the President of the Royal Meteorological Society, 1936-1938.

The collection also contains correspondence of John Welsh (1824-1859), Fellow of the Royal Society, and Superintendent of Kew Observatory, 1852-1859, who was the godfather of G.M. Whipple (1842-1893), father of F.J.W. Whipple.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mr R.T.P. Whipple, only son of F.J.W. Whipple, 1975.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.