Record Unit 7307, Greeley, Frederick Atwood, 1896-1980, Frederick Atwood Greeley Papers, 1920-1979
Frederick Atwood Greeley (1896-1980) was born and raised in Pelham, New Hampshire. In 1920 he began his career with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) as a staff member maintaining the SAO's solar radiation observing stations.
The SAO, under the directions of Charles Greeley Abbot, its Director from 1907 to 1944, and Loyal Blaine Aldrich, Assistant Director from 1928 to 1944 and Director from 1944 to 1955, had established several solar radiation observing stations to determine the solar constant of radiation (measuring the amount of heat reaching the earth from the sun outside the earth's atmosphere.) It was hoped that the data obtained would help improve accuracy in weather forecasting. These stations were established on high-elevation barren mountaintops in desert regions (usually 7,000 to 9,000 feet above sea-level), where clear atmosphere with few clouds prevails. The major pieces of equipment then in use were the bolometer, coelostat, galvanometer, and the Angstrom pyrheliometer. Data obtained from these instruments was computed and the results sent to SAO in Washington, D.C. The personnel who manned these stations served on a rotating term of about three years.
Greeley's tours of duties as bolometer assistant and assistant station director included the solar radiation observing stations at Mount Harqua Hala near Wenden, Arizona, 1920-1923; Montezuma near Calama, Chile, 1923-1926 and 1942-1943; Mount Brukkaros near Keetmanshoop, Southwest Africa, 1926-1929; Table Mountain near Swartout, California, 1930-1933 and 1936-1941; and Mount Saint Katherine in the Sinai, Egypt, 1933-1936. Greeley's duties included operation, readings, and maintenance of the sensitive heat-measuring instruments; computations of the data obtained from the readings; and routine maintenance of the station's buildings and equipment.
Greeley's tours of duty as station director included the stations at Montezuma, Chile, 1943-1946 and 1951-1955; Miami, Florida (SAO's only sea-level station), 1947-1948; and Table Mountain, California, 1948-1951 and 1955-1956. Greeley's duties as station director included full responsibility for the adjustment, repair, and operation of the equipment, as well as management of the station as a unit.
Greeley retired from SAO in December 1956. He lived in Redlands and Laguna Hills, California until his death in 1980.
- November 26, 1896
- Born, Pelham, New Hampshire. Greeley was a second cousin of Charles Greeley Abbot.
- Graduated high school in Nashua, New Hampshire.
- August-November, 1918
- United States Army
- October 1, 1920-March 31, 1923
- Mount Harqua Hala Station near Wenden, Arizona. Bolometer assistant and station assistant director. Alfred Moore was station director.
- April 1, 1923-June 30, 1926
- Montezuma Station near Calama, Chile. Bolometer assistant and station assistant director. Loyal Blaine Aldrich was station director. (NOTE: Frederick Greeley's brother, Paul Greeley, also served at this station from 1920 to 1922).
- July 1, 1926-November 30, 1929
- Mount Brukkaros Station near Keetmanshoop, Southwest Africa. Assisted in establishing this solar radiation observing station, and served as bolometer assistant and station assistant director. William H. Hoover was station director.
- December 1, 1929-December 31, 1932
- Table Mountain Station near Swartout, California. Bolometer assistant and station assistant director. Harlan Zodtner was station director.
- January1, 1933-February 28, 1933
- Washington, D.C. Prepared and packed for an expedition to Mount Saint Katherine in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.
- March 1, 1933-June 30, 1936
- Mount Saint Katherine Station, Sinai, Egypt near the Monastery of Saint Katherine. Bolometer assistant and assistant station director. Helped establish this solar radiation observing station. Harlan Zodtner was station director.
- July 1, 1936-October 31, 1941
- Table Mountain Station, California. Bolometer assistant and assistant station director. Harlan Zodtner, Hugh Freeman, and Clayton P. Butler were station directors.
- June 10,1937
- Married Olive Adelia Troup (born Maxwell, Iowa, June 10, 1901), Riverside, California.
- November 1,1941-February 28, 1942
- Washington D.C. Prepared for an expedition to Chile.
- March 1, 1942-June 30, 1946
- Montezuma Station, Chile. Bolometer assistant, 1942-1943; station director, 1943-1946. Olive Greeley served as bolometer assistant, 1943-1946. Alfred Moore was station director, 1942-1943.
- July 1, 1946-April 30, 1947
- Washington, D.C. Did research on needle system for quartz fiber galvanometer; repaired and adjusted electronic and optical equipment.
- May 1, 1947-July 31, 1948
- Miami Station. Established solar radiation field station. Station director. Olive Greeley was assistant station director.
- August 1, 1948-September 30, 1951
- Table Mountain Station, California. Station Director. Alfred Froiland, Stanley Aldrich, Albert Pizzuto, and Merwin Utter were assistant station directors.
- October 1, 1951-February 28, 1952
- Washington, D.C. Prepared for an expedition to Chile.
- March 1, 1952-June 30, 1955
- Montezuma Station, Chile. Station director. John Pora and James Zimmerman were assistant station directors.
- July 1, 1955-December 1, 1956
- Table Mountain Station, California. Station director.
- December 1, 1956
- Retired from SAO. 36 years and 3 months of service.
- Retirement in Redlands, California, 1957-1970, and Laguna Hills, California, 1970-1980.
- March 19, 1980
- Died, Laguna Hills, California, age 84.
- May 21,1982
- Death of Olive A. Greeley, Laguna Hills, California, age 81.