James Pollard Espy

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Espy, James Pollard


Born May 9, 1785, in Washington County, Penn.; died Jan. 24, 1860, in Cincinnati, Ohio. American meteorologist.

Beginning in 1817, Espy worked at the Franklin Institute. In 1843 he became director of the Weather Bureau of the US War Department, where he compiled the first weather maps in the United States. Espy developed the theory of atmospheric convection with allowance for the heat released by the condensation of vapor in clouds. He also proposed the “centripetal” theory of cyclones, an important step in the development of the theory of cyclone formation.


The Philosophy of Storms. Boston, 1841.


Khrgian, A. Kh. Ocherki razvitiia meteorologii. Leningrad, 1948.
Shaw, N. Manual of Meteorology, vol. 1. Cambridge, 1926. Page 136.
References in periodicals archive ?
We learn the stories of William Reid, businessman William Redfield, and philosopher James Espy, and of their vicious intellectual battles regarding theories of cyclones.
A particularly notable section pits Olmsted against James Espy, one of his chief critics, in a fictional debate, which Littmann developed from the pair's extensive published papers.
However, Sandlin ties these better-known characters to a broader narrative including the earlier scientific discoveries by Benjamin Franklin, James Espy, William Redfield, and Robert Hare, among others, who tackled the initial challenges in understanding atmospheric processes throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.