Geophysical travellers: the magneticians of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
G. A. Good, 2007. "Geophysical travellers: the magneticians of the Carnegie Institution of Washington", Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel, P. N. Wyse Jackson
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Between 1904 and World War II, a group of researchers ranged the world over in an effort to understand the Earth's magnetism. They called themselves ‘magneticians’ and they worked for the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Directed by Louis Agricola Bauer (1865–1932) and John Adam Fleming (1877–1956), these investigators followed carefully selected routes through Africa, Asia, South America, and other remote regions. They carried with them a heavy complement of instruments, camp gear, and evening wear, for those times when they reached outposts of European civilization.
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In the last four centuries geologists have traversed the globe, searching for economically important materials or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Geologists have often been at the vanguard of scientific exploration.
The microscopist Robert Hooke explored the Isle of Wight, and Charles Darwin the Cape Verde islands and parts of South America. The volcanic wonders of Italy and central France attracted native and foreign visitors including Lyell and Murchison. The Tyrrell brothers faced great hardship in northern Canada, as did the actor and mineralogist Charles Lewis Giesecke in Greenland. The development of Sydney, Australia depended on finding limestone for building. French geologists relied on camels in the Sahara, and Grenville Cole trusted his tricycle to carry him across Europe.
Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel focuses on the complexities of geological exploration and will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, historians of science and to the general reader interested in science.