George Douglas

George Douglas, the 16th Earl of Morton and a Scottish gentleman scientist, was born Apr. 3, 1761.  No doubt because he was wealthy and upper class, Douglas was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London when he was just 24 years old, and he was subsequently...

Eleazar Root

Eleazar Root, a British civil engineer, was born Apr. 1, 1805.  Root grew up in West Riding, in Yorkshire.  In the 1830s, he set up a company specializing in applying waterproof linings to canal beds, which at the time meant mastering the whimsies of puddling clay. ...

Margaret Harwood

Margaret Harwood, born on Mar. 19, 1885 in Littleton, Massachusetts, became the first woman – and for a long time the only woman – to serve as director of an independent astronomical observatory. She took charge of the Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket Island in...

Joseph René Bellot

Joseph René Bellot, a French naval officer, was born Mar. 18, 1826. Bellot was an up-and-coming young lieutenant when he was asked in 1851 by Lady Jane Franklin to join a privately-funded search for her husband, Sir John Franklin, his two ships, and his crew of 130...

George Parker

George Parker, the 2nd Earl of Macclesfield and an English astronomer, died Mar. 17, 1764; his date of birth, surprisingly, was unrecorded. Parker was a member of Parliament for some years, but he was more interested in practicing astronomy in an observatory that he...