Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HOUGH, George Washington, astronomer, born in Tribes Hill, Montgomery County, New York, 24 October, 1836. He was graduated at Union in 1856, and then directed his attention to astronomy. In 1860 he was appointed astronomer and director of the Dudley observatory, Albany, New York, where he remained until 1874, devoting his time to meridian observations of zone stars and meteorology. In 1879 he was called to the directorship of Dearborn observatory, Chicago, where he has since remained. His work in this place has included micrometrical measurements and discovery of double stars, and physical observations on the planet Jupiter. Of the double stars, 300 different ones have been discovered by him, and a catalogue of 209 prepared for publication. He has made many improvements in the apparatus used in astronomy, and his inventions include a star charting machine (1862); an automatic registering and printing barometer (1865); the same applied to the thermometer and other meteorological apparatus now used by the United States signal service and others (1866); a barograph and thermograph for recording meteorological phenomena at definite intervals, also used by the United States signal service (1869); a printing chronograph (1871), remodelled and improved (1885) (this is the only printing chronograph in the world); a recording chronograph (1879); and an observing seat for equatorial telescope (1880), now used by the principal observatories in the United States. More recently he has invented a sensitometer and an exposing base and plate-holder (1884). He is a member of several scientific societies, and, besides numerous miscellaneous contributions on astronomical and other scientific subjects to American and foreign journals, he has published "Annals of Dudley Observatory" (2 vols., Albany, 1866-;71) and "Annual Reports of Dearborn Observatory" (Chicago, 1880-'6).
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