Caroline and William Herschel

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jeff.stevens
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Caroline and William Herschel

Post by jeff.stevens »

Last week's "In Our Time" discussed Caroline and William Herschel's achievements. I found it very worthwhile listening to.

Best wishes, Jeff.
JohnM
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Re: Caroline and William Herschel

Post by JohnM »

Did they mention Alexander Hershel - William & Caroline's brother who was responsible for a lot of the mechanics of the telescopes, he also assisted William in casting and figuring mirrors ?

After William & Caroline moved to Slough to be near the King in Windsor he remained in the house in Bath both performing as a musician and also making parts including eyepieces for telescopes.

It is strange how he gets little mention in the Herschel story despite being the master mechanic in the manufacture of the telescopes.

I believe their is one paper written about his work by Michael Hodkin see http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2004JHA....35..387H

Don't confuse this Alexander Herschel with Prof. Alexander Stewart Herschel 1836 - 1907 who was the second son of John Herschel

John
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jeff.stevens
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Re: Caroline and William Herschel

Post by jeff.stevens »

JohnM wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:04 pm Did they mention Alexander Herschel - William & Caroline's brother who was responsible for a lot of the mechanics of the telescopes, he also assisted William in casting and figuring mirrors ?
Alexander and Jakob only get a brief mention. Alexander is mentioned as a ‘helper’ to his brother. According to the programme, Alexander and William were instrumental in getting Caroline to Bath and away from her mother. Caroline didn’t get on with Jakob, and apparently he returned to Hanover earlier in their time at Bath.

It discusses the superior quality of Herschel’s instruments, and his skill in making the mirrors, and how they outperformed many professional telescopes of the day.

Monica Grady and Caroline Crawford are on the show.

Best wishes, Jeff.
JohnM
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Re: Caroline and William Herschel

Post by JohnM »

Thanks Jeff,

It appears that Alexander did not leave any written records to form any history - all the references are via others such as Caroline's diaries.

Some of his work such as eyepieces have survived and are in the Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

Regards

John
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jeff.stevens
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Re: Caroline and William Herschel

Post by jeff.stevens »

JohnM wrote: Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:28 am Some of his work such as eyepieces have survived and are in the Maritime Museum at Greenwich.
Thanks John, it's on my list to revisit there next year. I haven't been since I was a kid. I'll look out for that.

Best wishes, Jeff.
JohnM
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Re: Caroline and William Herschel

Post by JohnM »

Hi Jeff,

I am not sure how many of the objects are on display but you can search the collection on-line at https://www.rmg.co.uk/collections/objec ... 20Herschel. You need to see which have a definite connection with Alexander.

It might be worth checking the Science Museum and The Museum of the History of Science online catalogues as well.

Regards

John
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