KEW OBSERVATORY AND METEOROLOGY 229
Rue (1815-i889), the famous stationer, whose mechanical ingenuity, artistic taste, and business habits were most valuable. I have served with him on various Councils, where his help and influence were always felt. I shall have shortly again to speak of him. The pretty Kew monogram was his design.
I became Chairman of the Observatory in succession to Mr. De la Rue in 1889, and held that post until i 9o i, when it ceased to be an independent body. The Observatory has been fortunate in its particularly able Superintendents, Sir Francis Ronalds of electric fame, Dr. Balfour Stewart, subsequently Professor at Owen's College, Manchester, Mr. Whipple, a man of considerable natural gifts, and Dr. Cree, now President of the Physical Society. Many members of their staff were very trustworthy and valuable officials.
Much interest in the laws of the weather had been aroused long previously to i 86o, and it was then clearly understood by those who studied them that future progress depended on securing numerous observations made at the same moment, during many years, at stations scattered over a wide area. The popular book of Maury in America and the writings of Admiral FitzRoy drew attention to this need ; and Le Verrier, the French astronomer, issued daily charts of the Atlantic, based on such observations as he could obtain from ships and coast stations. But these were so few compared to the area over which they were scattered, and so unequally distributed, that too much guess-work was needed to combine their information into coherent and reasonable systems.