Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Scientist's Voice in American CultureSimon Newcomb and the Rhetoric of Scientific Method$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Albert Moyer

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076891

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076891.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Formative Years

Formative Years

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter II Formative Years
Source:
A Scientist's Voice in American Culture
Author(s):

Albert E. Moyer

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520076891.003.0002

This chapter discusses Newcomb's intellectual meanderings in his younger years, and his first encounters with Joseph Henry and other practicing scientists. Newcomb was born in Wallace, Nova Scotia, in 1835. He tried his hand at mathematical and scientific writing by producing a paper titled “A New Demonstration of the Binomial Theorem.” Having visited Washington, D.C., and learned of the Smithsonian Institution, he sent his mathematical demonstration to no less a figure than Joseph Henry (1797–1878), Smithsonian secretary and laureate of American physical science. Newcomb sought Henry's advice on the merits of the paper and its suitability for publication. Henry, after asking the opinion of a colleague in mathematics, responded with both reserve and encouragement, and also advised young Newcomb to contact the U.S. Coast Survey about the possibility of obtaining a suitable technical job. Geophysicist Julius E. Hilgard helped Newcomb obtain the position of “computer” under the direction of astronomer Joseph Winlock at the Nautical Almanac Office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Keywords:   Simon Newcomb, Joseph Henry, Julius E. Hilgard, Nautical Almanac Office

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.