Adams, John Franklin, 1843 - 1912 (astronomer)
- Existence: 1843 - 1912
John Franklin-Adams, distinguished British amateur astronomer, was born in Peckham in 1843. A Lloyd’s underwriter by profession, he developed his interest in astronomy in later life and was largely self-taught.
Franklin-Adams conceived of the idea of a photographic star chart in the late 1890s when he set up an observatory at his house in Machrihanish in Argyllshire. Between 1902 and 1904 he undertook work in South Africa photographing the whole of the Southern sky. He returned to England in 1904 and attached an observatory to his new home near Godalming in Surrey; by 1909 he had photographed the whole of the Northern sky. Franklin-Adams became dissatisfied with the quality of his South Africa plates and in 1909, was about to return to re-photograph the southern sky when he became ill. Instead, his assistant R.J. Mitchell along with H.E. Wood did, or re-did, the southern work, at the Union (Transvaal) Observatory.
The Franklin-Adams star charts are the first photographic atlas of the sky. They were published posthumously in 1913-1914 by the Royal Astronomical Society in 206 sheets.
Franklin-Adams also took part in two eclipse expeditions: the first to Santa Pola, Spain, for the Total Solar Eclipse on 28th May 1900 when he accompanied an observing party from the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh; the second to Algiers to observe the eclipse of 30th August 1905.
Franklin-Adams was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1897. He died in 1912 age 69.
Found in 15 Collections and/or Records:
Correspondence regarding the Royal Astronomical Society's reproduction and marketing of the Franklin Adams Chart plates as prints, with balance sheets, statements of expenditure, receipts and a list of subscribers.
P.J. Melotte's 'Catalogue of 1450 dark areas from Franklin Adams' plates', including an original script and first draft. The catalogue is undated.
P.J. Melotte's positional data of Dark Nebulae from Franklin Adams's plates, numbers 4-206, undated.
P.J. Melotte's rewritten, selective positional data of Dark Nebulae from Franklin Adams's plates, numbers 38, 202 and 204, including positional data for the Magellanic clouds and a miscellaneous celestial 'graph'. The papers are undated.
Two journals by Franklin-Adams recording his astronomical work from 1897, when he first established an observatory at his house, until 1909, thus covering his time spent mapping the southern heavens at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope (1902-1904).
The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.