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

Elger, Thomas Gwyn Empy

  • Robert A. Garfinkle
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9917-7_405

BornBedford, England, 27 October 1836

DiedBedford, England, 9 January 1897

Thomas Elger, one of the preeminent amateur lunar observers of the Victorian era, was a leader in British amateur astronomical associations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. An avid observer and popularizer, he is best known for his lunar map, considered one of the best available until the space age.

Elger lived most of his life in Bedford. His grandfather Isaac, his father Thomas Gwyn Elger (an architect and builder), and he all served as Mayor of Bedford. After graduating from the Bedford Grammar School, he attended the University College in London. Upon completion of his studies, he became a civil engineer and participated in the design of the Metropolitan Railway and the Severn Valley Railway.

When Elger inherited his father’s estate in the mid-1860s, he retired from civil engineering to pursue scientific studies, including astronomy and archaeology. Elger moved into his mother’s home on...

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Selected References

  1. Anon. (1896–1897). “Thomas Gwyn Empey Elger.” Journal of the British Astronomical Association 7, no. 4: 207–208.Google Scholar
  2. Anon. (1897). “Thomas Gwyn Empy Elger.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 57: 210–211. (This obituary gives his birth year as 1837, but all other sources list 1838.)Google Scholar
  3. Elger, Thomas Gwyn (1895). The Moon: A Full Description and Map of Its Principal Physical Features. London: George Phillip and Son.Google Scholar
  4. Sheehan, William P. and Thomas A. Dobbins (2001). Epic Moon: A History of Lunar Exploration in the Age of the Telescope. Richmond, Virginia: Willmann-Bell.Google Scholar
  5. Whitaker, Ewen A. (1999). Mapping and Naming the Moon: A History of Lunar Cartography and Nomenclature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Garfinkle
    • 1
  1. 1.Union CityUSA