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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/418

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the country due to his advocacy, and to the letters sent by his advice by General Hazen to the Governors of the States.

Professor Abbe's unselfish devotion to the pursuit of science for its advancement and not for his own, has prevented his name from appearing as prominently in connection with the work of the Weather Bureau as it deserved to do; but there is a general concurrence of testimony that he has been its guiding spirit. A gentleman, whose special researches in co-operation with it, have given him a world-wide reputation, characterizes him in a note to us as an enthusiastic meteorologist, whose whole soul and energies "seem to have been given to the furtherance and interests of the service. He kept well read up on all meteorological matters, and had a very high appreciation of much that he read; and, when this was the case, he was always very desirous of bringing the matter and the author into notice by means of translations and republications. In fact, he seemed to me to be more desirous of bringing the works and the claims of others into notice than his own. His notes on meteorological subjects, Yjublished in the Smithsonian Reports, sprung from his extensive reading and desire to communicate to the public whatever he found of value in the course of his reading. These notes have been very valuable in keeping before the mind the principal results obtained in various ways in the progress of meteorological discovery. Being virtually the scientific adviser of the Signal Service, and having control mostly of its scientific work, on account of his generous and unselfish nature he was not content to occupy the field of scientific work alone, but when General Hazen was put at the head of the service and a more liberal policy toward civilians and in the encouragement of scientific work was adopted, he seemed to wish that all the leading meteorologists of the country could have a part in what he considered the great work of the country, and he especially interested himself in endeavoring to give a chance to promising young men of the country to have a part in this work."

Another gentleman, of world-wide eminence in physical investigation, writes to us: "I will merely state what will, I think, be generally admitted by all competent to express an opinion, that for the good work done by the United States Weather Service, and for the high estimation in which it has been held by Europeans generally, the country is indebted to Professor Abbe more than to any other one man. He was unquestionably the first to put into actual operation the scheme of telegraphic weather-warnings, and thus to realize the suggestions and hopes of Professor Henry in that direction. This he did at Cincinnati, Ohio, before the organization of the United States Weather Service.... It was his success in this preliminary work at Cincinnati which led to his being called into the service almost immediately after the organization of the Weather Bureau as a branch of the Signal Service of the United States Army. His relations to this service have always been in some degree anomalous and yet of the very highest importance....