Porter, Russell Williams

Porter, Russell Williams

(1871–1949) explorer, astronomer, telescope maker; born in Springfield, Vt. He participated in ten Arctic voyages (1894–1904) and was once marooned in the Arctic for nearly two years. Inspired by his celestial observations, he made his own telescope and helped to design the 200-inch telescope on Palomar Mountain in California; he also contributed to the design of the astrophysical laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He designed landing craft, rockets, and fuses for the U.S. Navy during World War II.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.