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Correspondence on Abinger Magnetic Observatory, 1893 - 1937

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 8/46

Scope and Contents

Correspondence on the need for the Abinger Magnetic Observatory and on the establishment of the observatory, including the following material:

Correspondence with Admiralty departments and officials, 1923-1937, including the Scientific Research Department, the Civil Engineer-in-Chief, the Hydrographic Department, the Director of Electrical Engineering, Sir Vincent Baddeley, Col. R.G. Hayes, the Director of Naval Construction and the Secretary of the Admiralty concerning the move, possible sites, instruments required, electricity and water supplies, staff requirements, rateable values of buildings, telephone facilities and installation of a wireless set.

Correspondence with various firms regarding instruments required for Abinger, 1923-1925, including correspondence with Messrs E.R. Watts regarding a special theodolite; Messrs C.F. Casella and Co. Ltd regarding the Kew magnetometer; and the Cambridge Instrument Co. regarding declination North Force and vertical force variometers.

Correspondence regarding magnetic disturbances at Abinger caused by electric trains, 1936.

Miscellaneous material relating to electrical and magnetic disturbances and atmospheric pollution, 1900-1936, concerned mainly with the electrification of the South Eastern and Chatham Railways and alterations, extensions and new plants at the Deptford Power Station.

Ordnance Survey map, 1894-1896 edition, annotated to show the new generating stations for the 1906 Electric Power Company Bill.

Miscellaneous correspondence with London County Council tramways, 1915-1923, regarding magnetic disturbances and the Greenwich Power Station, including the replacement of old boilers, smoke and the new plant.

Correspondence with South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company, the Admiralty, the Ministry of Transport, etc., and related papers regarding the electrification of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway and its effects on the Royal Observatory, 1913-1925. The papers include minutes and proceedings of various committees and conferences, including the Electrification of Railways Advisory Committee; a copy of a clause drafted for the protection of the Royal Observatory from the effects of electrical energy, to be included in an Act of Parliament; and discussion on possibilities and costs of moving magnetic observatories to a new site.

Correspondence with Dr Chree of the Kew Observatory, 1916-1917, regarding magnetic disturbances, including a memorandum on the effect of disturbances from electrical railways on the magnetic work carried out at the Royal Observatory and a report on a comparison of magnetograph records from the Greenwich and Kew Observatories in connection with electric train disturbance.

Correspondence with the Ministry of Transport, the London Electric Supply Corporation Ltd, the Admiralty and the Public Health Department, Greenwich, 1922-1936, regarding the electrification of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway and the extension of the Deptford Power Station, with a copy of the Ministry of Transport (South Eastern and Chatham) Railway Order, 1922; particulars of estimated fuel combustion of the new Deptford West Station; a report of the tribunal appointed to consider the effects of the extension; and correspondence relating to apparatus for measuring atmospheric pressure. There are also copies of relevant sections of the Electrical Power and Improvement Acts, including the London County Tramways (Electrical Power) Act, 1900; London County Council (Tramways and Improvements) Act, 1907, for the protection of Royal palaces, parks, etc.; and the London County Council (Tramways and Improvements) Act, 1910, for the protection of the Royal Observatory.

Miscellaneous papers, 1912-1927, including spare copies of draft minutes, reports, etc., relating to the electrification of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, 1921-1922, and correspondence regarding the London Electric Supply Corporation's plans to install an additional generating plant at the Deptford Station, 1912-1913. There are copies of various Railway Acts, including the Great Eastern Railway Act, 1912, ch. xxxvii; London County Council (Tramways and Improvements) Act, 1914, chs. cvi and cx/ix; and the City and South London Railway Act, 1893, ch. ccvii. There is also correspondence relating to the extension of the Deptford Generating Station, 1926, and the introduction of special clauses to the following electricity and power bills in order to protect the Royal Observatory's interests: Dorking and Leatherhead Electricity (Extension) Special Order, 1926; London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority Bill, 1927; London County Council General Power Bill, 1927; and the Guildford Corporation Electricity (Extension) Special Order, 1927.


  • Creation: 1893 - 1937


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 bundle(s) (1 bundle)

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Finding aid date

2006-04-24 14:57:02+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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