Brashear, John Alfred

Brashear, John Alfred

(brəshēr`), 1840–1920, American maker of scientific instruments and educator, b. Brownsville, Pa. A mechanic by trade, he taught himself the art of making lenses and mirrors for telescopes. Aided by the encouragement of Samuel P. LangleyLangley, Samuel Pierpont,
1834–1906, American scientist, b. Roxbury, Mass., received only a high school education but continued his studies in science in Boston libraries. He became, in 1866, professor of physics at the Western Univ. of Pennsylvania (now the Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
, he perfected his techniques. From 1880 he devoted himself to the business of making astronomical instruments and became noted in the field. Active also in many civic and educational projects, he contributed to the growth of the Allegheny Observatory of the Univ. of Pittsburgh and served as trustee and chancellor (1902–4) of the university.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1924); biography by H. L. Gaul and R. Eiseman (1940).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Brashear, John Alfred

(1840–1920) astronomical instrument-maker; born in Brownsville, Pa. A Pittsburgh steel mill mechanic by day, by night he was an amateur telescope maker. Because astronomy was beginning to attract large donations from philanthropists, in 1881 he was able to start the John A. Brashear Company, builders of astrophysical research instruments. He built George Ellery Hale's first spectroheliograph. The company was bought in 1926 by J. W. Fecker of Cleveland.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.