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    Lewis Morris Rutherfurd

    Birth: 11-16-1816

    Death: 5-30-1892

    Alternate Surname: Rutherford


Mentioned in 18341205WHS_FMS1. male dinner party guest of WHS in Albany, NY.

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Biography and Citation Information:
Mentioned in 18341205WHS_FMS1. male dinner party guest of WHS in Albany, NY.
  • He married: Margaret Chanler Stuyvesant Rutherfurd (1820 - 1890)
  • Their children:
  • Rutherfurd Stuyvesant (1843 - 1909)
  • Louisa Morris Rutherfurd (1855 - 1892)
  • Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1859 - 1901)
  • Winthrop Chanler Rutherfurd (1862 - 1944)
    His paternal grandfather was US Senator John Rutherfurd(1760-1840) from NJ 1791-1798. Senator John Rutherfurd was the son of Walter Rutherfurd (1723-1804) born at "Edgerston" in Roxburghshire Scotland. Walter Rutherfurd arrived in America in 1756. On his maternal side (six generations) was Lewis Morris, chief justice of NJ and NY, and first governor of New Jersey. His great-grandfather, for whom he was named, was the signer of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Lewis Morris Rutherfurd graduated from Williams College, Massachusetts in 1834 at the age of 18 years. He passed the bar and began praticing law in 1837 with William H. Steward in Auburn, New York. He practiced law in New York City with George Wood as well.
  • Lewis Morris Rutherfurd abandoned his study of law in 1849 and dedicated his leisure to science, particularly astronomy. Until his death he was engaged in experiments which turned out with remarkable success and were the marvels of the scientific world. In this line it may be said truthfully that he won an international distinction.
  • He invented instruments for his studies, including the micrometer for measuring photographs, a machine for producing improved ruled diffraction gratings, and the first telescope designed specifically for astrophotography. Using his instrumentation, he produced a quality collection of photographs of the Sun, Moon, and planets as well as stars and star clusters. In 1862 he began making spectroscopic studies using his new diffraction grating. He discovered distinct categories of spectral classes of stars.
  • He served as trustee of Columbia University from 1858 until 1884, and donated his work including instruments and photographs to Columbia University. "Rutherfurd crater on the Moon " is named after him.
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