Abbe, Cleveland

Abbe, Cleveland

(ăb`ē), 1838–1916, American meteorologist, b. New York City; brother of Robert AbbeAbbe, Robert
, 1851–1928, American surgeon, b. New York City, M.D. Columbia, 1874; brother of Cleveland Abbe. He was especially noted as a plastic surgeon and was a pioneer in the use of catgut sutures.
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. He was the first official daily weather forecaster in the United States. Abbe studied astronomy at the Univ. of Michigan, under B. A. Gould at Cambridge, Mass., and in Pulkovo, Russia. As director of the Cincinnati Observatory, he inaugurated daily weather predictions based on telegraphic reports. This work prompted the establishment of the national weather service, under the Signal Corps (1870), which Abbe joined in 1871; from 1891 to 1916 he served in the U.S. Weather Bureau.
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Abbe, Cleveland

(1838–1916) meteorologist; born in New York City. He worked on the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey before apprenticing himself in 1864 at the Russian Pulkovo Observatory, home of the then largest refracting telescope in the world. On his return in 1866 he tried but failed to establish an observatory in New York City. In 1868 he became the director of the Cincinnati Observatory. While there, he implemented a daily weather bulletin for the Chamber of Commerce using telegraphed reports of storms. In 1871 he became scientific assistant to the Weather Bureau of the Signal Corps and continued forecasting until his death. In 1879 Abbe proposed establishing time zones based on the system used by the railroads; this was adopted in 1883 when the U.S.A. was divided into four zones. An author and editor of many publications on the weather, he is credited with setting high standards for the new science of meteorology.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.