Cleveland Abbe and the Birth of the National Weather Service, 1870-1891
AbstractCleveland Abbe (1838-1916) made substantial scientific and administrative contributions to nascent national weather services during their first twenty years under the aegis of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Prior studies of the Signal Service, however, give short shrift to Abbe’s work. In particular most accounts barely mention Abbe’s scientific endeavors during the initial decade, 1871-1880. This paper examines three aspects of Abbe’s career: (a) his background; (b) the science he initiated; and (c) his administrative accomplishments. Two conclusions emerge: first, Abbe initiated significant, broad-based scientific research, beginning in the 1870s; and second, Abbe’s scientific contributions deserve recognition for their part in the evolution of 19th century meteorology.