| 7 April 1809 (1809-04-07) |
February 7, 1903, Croydon, United Kingdom
Trinity College, Cambridge
James Whitbread Lee Glaisher
Wilfrid de Fonvielle, Gaston Tissandier, Camille Flammarion
James Glaisher Wikipedia
James Glaisher FRS (7 April 1809 – 7 February 1903) was an English meteorologist, aeronaut and astronomer.
Born in Rotherhithe, the son of a London watchmaker, Glaisher was a Junior assistant at the Cambridge Observatory from 1833 to 1835 before moving to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where he served as Superintendent of the Department of Meteorology and Magnetism at Greenwich for thirty-four years.
In 1845, Glaisher published his dew point tables, for the measurement of humidity. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1849.
He was a founder member of the Meteorological Society (1850) and the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (1866). He was president of the Royal Meteorological Society from 1867 to 1868. Glaisher was elected a member of The Photographic Society, later the Royal Photographic Society, in 1854 and served as the Society's President for 1869–1874 and 1875–1892. He remained a member until his death.
He is most famous, however, as a pioneering balloonist. Between 1862 and 1866, usually with Henry Tracey Coxwell as his co-pilot, Glaisher made numerous ascents to measure the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere at its highest levels. His ascent on 5 September 1862 broke the world record for altitude, but he passed out around 8,800 metres before a reading could be taken. One of the pigeons making the trip with him died. Estimates suggest that he rose to more than 9,500 metres and as much as 10,900 metres above sea-level.
Glaisher lived at 22 Dartmouth Hill, Blackheath, London, where there is a blue plaque in his memory. He died in Croydon, Surrey in 1903, aged 93.
In 1843 he married Cecilia Louisa Belville, a daughter of Henry Belville, Assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. James and Cecilia Glaisher had two sons, Ernest Glaisher and the mathematician James Whitbread Lee Glaisher (1848–1928), and one daughter.
A lunar crater is named after him. The name was approved by the IAU in 1935.