Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

De la Rue, Warren

  • Alan W. Hirshfeld
Reference work entry

Alternate Name

 Rue, Warren de la

BornIsle of Guernsey, United Kingdom, 15 January 1815

DiedLondon, England, 19 April 1889

Warren de la Rue pioneered the application of photography to the study of the Moon and Sun, in the process demonstrating the value of an equatorially mounted, clock-driven reflecting telescope as a camera, techniques that greatly accelerated the evolution of the new science of astrophysics. The son of Thomas de la Rue, a printer, and Jane (néeWarren), de la Rue was educated at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris and later studied with the noted chemist August Wilhelm Hofmann in London. While still in his youth, de la Rue joined his father’s printing business, where he showed a talent for mechanical innovation. He was among the first printers to adopt the electrotyping process and was coinventor (with Edwin Hill) of the envelope-making machine.

De la Rue’s earliest scientific contributions were in the field of chemistry. In 1836, he published his first paper,...

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Selected References

  1. Clerke, Agnes M. (1902). A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century. 4th ed. London: Adam and Charles Black.Google Scholar
  2. Daniel, Norman (1938). “The Development of Astronomical Photography.” Osiris5: 560–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. De la Rue, Warren (1855). “Report of the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society15: 139–141. (Details of the Kew photoheliograph).Google Scholar
  4. — (1857). “Mr. De la Rue, on Lunar Photography.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society18: 16–18.Google Scholar
  5. — (1859). “Report on the Present State of Celestial Photography in England.” In Report of the 29th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Aberdeen, September 1859. London: J. Murray. (Widely circulated, this report led to subsequent efforts by astronomers to record the 1860 and later solar eclipses photographically).Google Scholar
  6. — (1861). “Report on the Progress of Celestial Photography.” In Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting at Manchester, September 1861. London: J. Murray.Google Scholar
  7. — (1862). “On the Total Solar Eclipse of July 18th, 1860.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London152: 333–416, esp. 408. (The Bakerian Lecture).Google Scholar
  8. Hackmann, Willem (June 1997). “Warren De la Rue and Lunar Photography.” Scientific Instrument Society Bulletin53: 2–4.Google Scholar
  9. Lankford, John (1981). “Amateurs and Astrophysics: A Neglected Aspect in the Development of a Scientific Specialty.” Social Studies of Science11: 275–303. (See note 18 for references to de la Rue).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. — (1984). “The Impact of Photography on Astronomy.” In Astrophysics and Twentieth-Century Astronomy to 1950: Part A, edited by Owen Gingerich. Vol. 4A of The General History of Astronomy, pp. 16–39. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts, DartmouthMAUSA