Samuel Pierpont Langley

Physicist, Astronomer

1834 – 1906

39

Who was Samuel Pierpont Langley?

Samuel Pierpont Langley was an American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation. He attended Boston Latin School, graduated from English High School of Boston, was an assistant in the Harvard College Observatory, then moved to a job ostensibly as a professor of mathematics at the United States Naval Academy, but actually was sent there to restore the Academy's small observatory. In 1867, he became the director of the Allegheny Observatory and a professor of astronomy at the Western University of Pennsylvania, now known as the University of Pittsburgh, a post he kept until 1891 even while he became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. Langley was the founder of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

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Born
Aug 22, 1834
Roxbury
Also known as
  • Samuel P. Langley
  • S. P. Langley
Parents
Siblings
Religion
  • Christian Unitarianism
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Boston Latin School
  • Boston High School
  • English High School of Boston
Employment
  • University of Pittsburgh
Lived in
  • Boston
Died
Feb 27, 1906
Aiken

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Samuel Pierpont Langley." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 Jun 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/samuel_pierpont_langley>.

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