Charles Smallwood

Charles Smallwood, physician, professor of meteorology, founder of the McGill Observatory (b at Birmingham, Eng 1812; d at Montréal 22 Dec 1873). Arriving in Montréal in 1833, he later set up medical practice in St-Martin.

Charles Smallwood

Charles Smallwood, physician, professor of meteorology, founder of the McGill Observatory (b at Birmingham, Eng 1812; d at Montréal 22 Dec 1873). Arriving in Montréal in 1833, he later set up medical practice in St-Martin. There he kept a weather notebook and built an observatory for astronomy and meteorology. The astronomy had practical application: for "time from the stars," the observatory was connected by the Montréal telegraph with major US cities. Smallwood examined and photographed snow crystals through a microscope, surely one of the first to do so. Fifteen of his scientific articles and 11 weather reviews appeared in the Canadian Naturalist between 1857 and 1872. In 1856 McGill granted him an honorary LLD and appointed him professor of meteorology (without salary). The work of this pioneering Victorian scientist foreshadowed modern CLOUD physics.