Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 7068
Avery, Robert Stanton, 1808-1894
Robert Stanton Avery Papers, 1855-1894
Robert Stanton Avery (1808-1894) graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1846, but soon turned his attention to mathematics and its application to the physical sciences. Avery taught school in the South, and in 1853 joined the United States Coast Survey (USCS) where he became chief of the Tidal Division. His duties included receiving observer reports taken from tide gauges established on the coasts of the United States and computing tide estimates based on the data received. When Avery retired from the USCS in 1885, he devoted his remaining years to the development of the techniques of phonetic spelling.
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
These papers consist of correspondence with members of the United States Coast Survey chiefly concerning tide gauges; descriptions and drawings of working parts of clocks and tide gauges; mathematical equations and tables; records of data connected with Coast Survey work; office notes and vouchers; drafts for articles written and collected by Avery; USCS mathematical and scientific publications; and Avery's phonetic alphabet primers. Also included is correspondence concerning a proposal to print Avery's primers in Great Britain and an obituary of Avery.
Notations within the papers are frequently done in stenography. Knowledge of stenography will be helpful in understanding this material. Correspondents include: Robert Stanton Avery, Alexander Dallas Bache, John Batchelder, Thomas Craig, Julius Erasmus Hilgard, Samuel P. Langley, Macmillan & Co., Levi W. Meech, Benjamin Peirce, Charles Anthony Schott, William Wesley and Son, and B. Westermann & Co.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Avery, Robert Stanton, 1808-1894
- Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867
- Bachelder, John, 1791-1871
- Craig, Thomas, 1855-1900
- Hilgard, J. E. (Julius Erasmus), 1825-1891
- Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906
- Meech, Levi W. (Levi Witter)
- Peirce, Benjamin, 1809-1880
- Schott, Charles A. (Charles Anthony), 1826-1901
- U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
- Harvard Divinity School
- United States Coast Survey
- Macmillan & Co.
- William Wesley and Son
- B. Westermann & Co.
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7068, Robert Stanton Avery Papers