Seismological station at Maguire Hall, Georgetown University. Equipment shown (from front to back): Wiechert seismograph; Mainka seismograph; Bosch Omori seismographs
Georgetown University Archives, Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Jesuits have contributed much to the field of seismology, which has even been termed the Jesuit Science. The founder and first director of Georgetown''s Seismological Observatory was Francis A. Tondorf, S.J., who came to Georgetown in 1908 as Assistant Director of the Astronomical Observatory and Professor of Physics and Higher Mathematics. In 1909, through the generosity of alumnus Patrick H. O'Donnell (A.B. 1892, A.M. 1893, LL.B. 1894), a seismology station was equipped in the South Tower of Healy Hall. It was, at the time, the most complete station of its kind in the country. The original installation consisted of a horizontal and vertical Wiechert seismograph, each of 80 kilograms pendulum mass, purchased from Spindler and Hoer in Gottingen, Germany. It was soon discovered that the sway of the South Tower made it an unsuitable location and the equipment was transferred to a room in the basement of Maguire Hall, equipped with double brick walls to insulate against temperature changes and moisture. Added to the two original seismographs were a Mainka seismograph, the first of its kind in the U.S., and a pair of Bosch photographically recording seismographs. Seismographic equipment remained in operation at Georgetown in various locations until around 1970.Repository: Booth Family Center for Special Collections. For more information about this collection please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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9.5 in. x 7.5 in.