lens. He consulted for other observatories; for example, in 1936, he designed
corrector lenses for the Cook Astrograph
of the University of Pennsylvania. He
retired from Yerkes in 1939, and from
the 200-in. project in 1942, but he kept
an office in the Mount Wilson Observatory headquarters. He died in Altadena,
Calif., in 1960. Ross was elected to the
National Academy of Sciences.
Perley G. Nutting
OSA’s second secretary was none other
than the ubiquitous Perley Nutting, the
founding spirit and first president of the
Society. (In fact, during the first half-dozen years, when the Society was still
very young and small, the rotation of
officers seemed somewhat like a game
of musical chairs!) Nutting, moving
from Rochester to his new position as
director of research at Westinghouse
in Pittsburgh, served as secretary
from 1918 to 1919.
Paul D. Foote and Irwin Priest
Paul Foote’s tenure as secretary was
very short: It started and ended in
1920. Foote decided to pursue another
opportunity that year; he became the
second editor of the Journal of the
Optical Society of America.
Foote was succeeded by Irwin
Gillespie Priest, a physicist at NBS.
Priest was secretary of OSA from 1921
to 1924, and he went on to become
the Society’s vice president in 1926
and president in 1928. While he was
secretary, Priest introduced the custom
of printing full abstracts of papers in
programs for meetings—a practice
later adopted by the American Physical
Society and others. He unexpectedly
resigned in August of 1924.
F.K. Richtmyer and C.C. Bidwell
Richtmyer was a professor of physics at
Cornell. He had been president of OSA
in 1920, and he served as secretary from
1924 to 1926. In 1933, he succeeded Paul
Foote as editor of JOSA, and he served in
that capacity until his death in 1939.
Next came C.C. Bidwell, who took
office in 1927. Bidwell had attended
Cornell University, and he became an
instructor there in 1912. He later moved
to Lehigh University. His scientific
papers were mostly published in
Physical Review and pertained to metals—
their structure, thermal conductivity,
resistance and thermoelectric properties.
I only came across one that concerned
optics; it was on the monochromatic
emission of liquid copper. t
John N. Howard ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is the founding editor of Applied Optics and retired chief
scientist of the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory.
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