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Arthur Cowper Ranyard, Knowledge and the reproduction of astronomical photographs in the late nineteenth-century periodical press

  • JAMES MUSSELL (a1)
Abstract

The development of photographic reproduction in the late nineteenth century permitted images in a range of visual media to be published in the press. Focusing on the popular scientific monthly Knowledge, this paper explores the evidentiary status of reproductions of astronomical photographs. After succeeding its founder Richard Anthony Proctor in 1889, the new editor of Knowledge, Arthur Cowper Ranyard, introduced high-quality collotype reproductions into each number of the magazine. One of Ranyard's main interests was the structure of the Milky Way, evidence for which was only available through astronomical photographs. As Ranyard reproduced photographs in support of his arguments, he blurred the boundaries between the published collotype, the source negative and the astronomical phenomena themselves. Since each of these carried different evidentiary value, the confusion as to what, exactly, was under discussion did not go unremarked. While eminent astronomers disputed both Ranyard's arguments and the way in which they were presented, Knowledge disseminated both striking astronomical images and also a broader debate over how they should be interpreted.

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1 See, for instance, Clodd, E. and Capt., Noble, ‘In Memoriam: Richard Anthony Proctor’, Knowledge (1888), 11, 265.

2 Proctor, R. A., ‘To our readers’, Knowledge (1881), 1, 13, 3.

3 B. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, Chicago, 2007, 325–35; idem, ‘Knowledge confronts Nature: Richard Anthony Proctor and popular science periodicals’, in Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media (ed. L. Henson, G. Cantor, G. Dawson, R. Noakes, S. Shuttleworth and J. R. Topham), Aldershot, 2004, 199–210. For the English Mechanic see W. H. Brock, ‘The development of commercial science journals in Victorian Britain’, in Development of Science Publishing in Europe (ed. A. J. Meadows), Amsterdam, 1980, 95–122; J. Mussell, Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press, Aldershot, 2007, 29–36.

4 Lightman, ‘Knowledge confronts Nature’, op. cit. (3), 208; idem, Victorian Popularizers of Science, op. cit. (3), 341–5. See also anonymous [Richard Anthony Proctor], ‘Gossip’, Knowledge (1885), 8, 204–6, 204.

5 For Proctor in America see Saum, L. O., ‘The Proctor interlude in St. Joseph and in America: astronomy, romance and tragedy’, American Studies International (1999), 37, 3454.

6 This view of popular science – contested but widely held amongst nineteenth-century popularizers – retains currency today. For good overviews see S. Shapin, ‘Science and the public’, in Companion to the History of Modern Science (ed. R. C. Olby, G. N. Cantor, J. R. R. Christie and M. J. S. Hodge), London, 1990, 990–1007; P. J. Bowler and I. R. Morus, Modern Science: A Historical Survey, Chicago and London, 2005, 367–90; Morus, I. R., ‘Replacing Victoria's scientific culture’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (2006), 2, available at http://www.19.bbk.ac.uk (accessed 15 August 2008). For discussions of nineteenth-century popularization see Sheets-Pyenson, S., ‘Popular science periodicals in Paris and London: 1820–1875’, Annals of Science (1985), 42, 549–72; B. Lightman, ‘“The Voices of Nature”: popularizing Victorian science’, Victorian Science in Context (ed. B. Lightman), Chicago and London, 187–211; A. Fyfe, Science and Salvation: Evangelicals and Popular Science Publishing, Chicago and London, 2004. For methodological and historiographic reflections see Hilgartner, S., ‘The dominant view of popularization: conceptual problems, political uses’, Social Studies of Science (1990), 20, 519–39; Cooter, R. and Pumfrey, S., ‘Separate spheres and public places: reflections on the history of science popularization and science in popular culture’, History of Science (1994), 32, 237–67; B. Latour, Science in Action, Cambridge, MA, 1987, 46–59. Actual readers, of course, are not passive. See, for instance, A. Desmond, ‘Artisan resistance and evolution in Britain, 1819–1848’, Osiris (1987), 3, 77–110; Cooter and Pumfrey, op. cit., 237–67.

7 M. J. Crowe, The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750–1900, Cambridge, 1986, 368. See also Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, op. cit. (3), 300–7; R. Hutchins, ‘Proctor, Richard Anthony (1837–1888)’, DNB, available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/22838 (accessed 2 February 2007).

8 See Crowe, op. cit. (7), 368–9; Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, op. cit. (3), 300–2.

9 Ranyard published eighteen papers in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1882 his contributions to Knowledge were published together with those of Proctor, Clodd and A. Wilson as Leisure Readings, part of the Knowledge Library by Wyman and Sons.

10 For Ranyard's work with Lockyer see Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 1 (2), 50, 64.

11 Soojung-Kim Pang, A., ‘Victorian observing practices, printing technology, and representations of the solar corona (1): the 1860s and 1870s’, Journal for the History of Astronomy (1994), 25, 249–74, 267. See also idem, Empire and the Sun: Victorian Solar Eclipse Expeditions, Stanford, 2002, 96–105.

12 Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, op. cit. (3), 348.

13 Ranyard, A. C., ‘To our readersKnowledge (1888), 12, 1.

14 For Proctor clashing with Joseph Norman Lockyer see A. J. Meadows, Science and Controversy: A Biography of Sir Norman Lockyer, London, 1972, 96–103; Hutchins, op. cit. (7). For Proctor clashing with Edward Holden see Payne, W. W., ‘The Holden–Proctor unpleasantnessSidereal Messenger (1887), 6, 192; Osterbrock, D. E., ‘The rise and fall of Edward S. Holden: Part 1’, Journal for the History of Astronomy (1984), 15, 81127, 87–9; W. Sheehan, The Immortal Fire within: The Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard, Cambridge, 1995, 122–3, 130. Ranyard, however, worked with Lockyer on Nature, collaborated with George Biddell Airy on the eclipse volume of the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society and corresponded amicably with Holden. For Ranyard and Lockyer see Ranyard MS 1, op. cit. (10); for his role in the eclipse volume see Pang, ‘Victorian observing practices’, op. cit. (11), 249–74; for Ranyard and Holden see Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 1–2. In the latter case, Holden was particularly keen to provide Ranyard with some magic lantern slides for Proctor's wife so that he could demonstrate that ‘Proctor himself took a very unjust view of my relations to him’.

15 Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, op. cit. (3), 333–5.

16 There was a perceived market for both science writing and science writers as a result of the expansion of scientific education late in the century. See D. S. L. Cardwell, The Organisation of Science in England, London, 1972, 111–86, 161; R. M. Macleod, ‘Resources of science in Victorian England’, in Science and Society 1600–1900 (ed. P. Mathias), Cambridge, 1972, 111–16; J. A. Lancashire, ‘An historical study of the popularization of science in general science periodicals in Britain 1890–1939’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Canterbury, 1988, 53–4.

17 See anonymous [W. H. Wesley], ‘Obituary’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1895), 55, 198–201, 199. Ranyard also completed Proctor's magnum opus, Old and New Astronomy, which had just begun publication in parts after twenty-five years in preparation.

18 A. C. Ranyard, untitled note, Knowledge (1889), 12, 108.

19 Ranyard opts to reproduce a photographic portrait of Proctor in a memorial insert containing an obituary and an advert for Old and New Astronomy. See anonymous [A. C. Ranyard], ‘The Late R. A. Proctor’, Knowledge (1888), 12, unpaginated.

20 G. Beegan, The Mass Image: A Social History of Photomechanical Reproduction in Victorian London, Basingstoke, 2008, 74–5. Carl Hentschel dates the use of photography to transfer images for hand engraving to 1866 and the arrival of line process to 1876. See Hentschel, C., ‘Process engraving’, Journal for the Society of Arts (1900), 48, 461–74, 462 and 464. Walter Boutall suggests that line process arrived from Paris in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War. See Boutall, W., ‘Technical education in relation to process engraving’, British Journal of Photography (1897), 44, 506–7, cited in Beegan, op. cit., 234. For a good (although hostile) overview of photomechanical methods, see Symmons, T., ‘The present position of photography in relation to book and periodical illustration’, British Journal of Photography (1892), 39, 299300 and 313–14.

21 Beegan, op. cit. (20), 73–5; Hentschel, op. cit. (20), 463–4.

22 D. Reed, The Popular Magazine in Britian and the United States, London, 1997, 30–1.

23 Reed, op. cit. (22), 28–30.

24 Hentschel, op. cit. (20), 463; Beegan, op. cit. (20), 75–6. See also Wolf, M., ‘The line screen plates and their use’, British Journal of Photography (1893), 40, 574–6; and Pang, Empire and the Sun, op. cit. (11), 115–16.

25 Hentschel, op. cit. (20), 469.

26 See Hentschel, op. cit. (20), 469–70; Reed, op. cit. (22), 34–5.

27 Beegan, op. cit. (20), 56–71.

28 See Thomas, C., ‘Illustrated journalism’, Journal of the Society of Arts (1891), 39, 173–85, 177–8.

29 For the impact of the Strand Magazine see R. Pound, The Strand Magazine 1891–1950, London, 1966; Reed, op. cit. (22), 95–8; K. Jackson, George Newnes and the New Journalism in Britain, 1880–1910, Aldershot, 2001; Mussell, op. cit. (3).

30 Reed, op. cit. (22), 28–9. For a description of the Graphic's line process, see Thomas, op. cit. (28), 183.

31 See Hentschel, op. cit. (20), 469–70.

32 Thomas, op. cit. (28), 178.

33 For mechanical objectivity as a negative reflex of subjectivity see Daston, L. and Galison, P., ‘The image of objectivity’, Representations (1992), 40, 81128, 82–3.

34 The Direct Photo Engraving Company was established in 1881 as the Direct Photo Litho and Metallo Gravo Printing Company Ltd. It was taken over in 1883 and went into liquidation in 1898. They were based in offices on Farringdon Street but, at the time of their liquidation, had opened studios in Barnsbury, North London. Such a move to the suburbs was common for process firms as their works were disturbed by the vibrations from the underground railway. The Direct Photo Engraving Company was financially unstable, pursuing court cases against the publishers Newnes and Beeton and losing much business after the departure of Carl Hentschel to set up his own firm in 1888. See anonymous, ‘Markets – Saturday’, Birmingham Daily Post, 4 April 1881, 6; anonymous, ‘In liquidation – re. the Direct Photo Engraving Company, Ltd.’, Glasgow Herald, 8 October 1898; both from 19th Century British Library Newspapers (accessed 22 August 2008). See also the account of Direct Photo Engraving Ltd and another vs Hentschel and another in The Times, 22, 23, 24 and 25 March 1888.

35 Anonymous [W. H. Wesley], op. cit. (17), 199.

36 For the early history of photography see L. J. Schaaf, Out of the Shadows: Herschel, Talbot, and the Invention of Photography, London, 1992, 1–23. For the development of astronomical photography see Wilson, H. C., ‘Astronomical photography’, British Journal of Photography (1892), 39, 617–18; Barnard, E. E., ‘The development of photography in astronomy’, Science (1898), 8, 341–53; Norman, D., ‘The development of astronomical photography’, Osiris (1938), 5, 560–94; G. de Vaucouleurs, Astronomical Photography: From the Daguerrotype to the Electron Camera, London, 1961, 13–68; Rothermel, H., ‘Images of the sun: Warren De La Rue, George Biddell Airy and celestial photography’, BJHS (1993), 26, 137–69; Pang, ‘Victorian observing practices’, op. cit. (11); and Soojung-Kim Pang, A., ‘Victorian observing practices, printing technology, and representations of the solar corona (2): the 1880s and 1890s’, Journal for the History of Astronomy (1995), 26, 6376; Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 264–6; J. Tucker, Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science, Baltimore, 2005.

37 Pang, Empire and the Sun, op. cit. (11), 108. See also anonymous [Clerke, A. M.], ‘Sidereal photography’, Edinburgh Review (1888), 168, 2346, 40.

38 Anonymous [A. M. Clerke], op. cit. (37), 24, 35. For Clerke see Lightman, B., ‘Victorian popularizers of Science: from reverent eye to chemical retina’, Isis (2000), 91, 651–80, 671–9; idem, Victorian popularizers of science, op. cit. (3), 469–88; M. T. Brück, Agnes Mary Clerke and the Rise of Astrophysics, Cambridge, 2002.

39 Anonymous [A. M. Clerke], op. cit. (37), 41.

40 Anonymous [A. M. Clerke], op. cit. (37), 34.

41 Daston and Galison, op. cit. (33), 83. See also Schaffer, S., ‘Astronomers mark time: discipline and the personal equation’, Science in Context (1988), 2, 115–45.

42 Neubauer, F. J., ‘A short history of the Lick Observatory, Part 1’, Popular Astronomy (1950), 58, 20122l; H. Wright, James Lick's Monument: The Saga of Captain Richard Floyd and the Building of the Lick Observatory, Cambridge, 1987; Osterbrock, op. cit. (14), 85–93; Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 97–123.

43 Ranyard, A. C., ‘Automatic recording instruments of the Lick Observatory’, Knowledge (1888), 12, 58. The previous article is anonymous [Ranyard, A. C.], ‘The Lick Observatory’, Knowledge (1888), 12, 34–7.

44 See, for instance, the Earl of Rosse's report to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1890. Anonymous, ‘Report of the Council to the Seventieth Annual General Meeting of the Society’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1890), 50, 141–264, 211.

45 For the foundation of the BAA see W. H. S. Monck, ‘An Amateur Astronomers’ Association', English Mechanic (1890), 51, 445; E. Brown, ‘An Amateur Astronomers’ Association', English Mechanic (1890), 51, 463; A. Chapman, The Victorian Amateur Astronomer, Chichester, 1998, 243–75.

46 Anonymous, ‘Report of the meeting of the Association held November 26, 1890’, Journal of the British Astronomical Association (1890), 1, 49–58, 50.

47 Lankford, J., ‘Amateurs versus professionals: the controversy over telescope size in late Victorian science’, Isis (1981), 72, 1128, 22. For Noble's reference to the Lick Observatory see anonymous, op. cit. (44), 53.

48 Anonymous, op. cit. (46), 50. For the list of those involved see anonymous, ‘Officers and Council’, Journal of the British Astronomical Association (1890), 1, 8.

49 Chapman, op. cit. (45).

50 Lankford, op. cit. (47), 11.

51 Holden, E. S., ‘The photographic apparatus of the great equatorial of the Lick Observatory’, Monthly Notices of the RAS (1890), 50, 101–6, 106.

52 Beegan, op. cit. (20), 13.

53 Beegan, op. cit. (20), 15–16.

54 A. C. Ranyard, ‘The Great Nebula in Andromeda’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 75–7, 75. See also Vaucouleurs, op. cit. (36), 57.

55 The previous article was on the Pleiades and published in January 1889. See A. Cowper Ranyard, ‘The Great Nebula in the Pleiades’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 68–9. The third article, on Orion, is discussed below.

56 Ranyard, op. cit. (54), 75.

57 ‘A. C. R.’ [Arthur Cowper Ranyard], ‘Drawings of the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1889), 13, 6–7. See also Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 266–7.

58 See, for instance, Ranyard's remarks at the RAS after A. A. Common presented his photograph of the nebula in Orion in March 1883. Reported in anonymous, ‘Scientific notes’, Graphic (1883), 27, 342, within 19th Century British Library Newspapers (accessed 22 August 2008). For Common's paper and a diagram of the photograph see A. Ainslie Common, ‘Note on a photograph of the Great Nebula in Orion and some new stars near θ Orionis’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1883), 43, 255–7.

59 Ranyard, op. cit. (54), 75.

60 For more on the spatial–temporal limitations of photography see Rothermel, op. cit. (36), 137–69; Pang, ‘Victorian observing practices’, op. cit. (12), 256.

61 B. J. Becker, ‘Priority, persuasion, and the virtue of perseverance: William Huggins's efforts to photograph the solar corona without an eclipse’, Journal for the History of Astronomy (2000), 31, 223–43, 230.

62 Ranyard, op. cit. (54), 76.

63 Anonymous [A. C. Ranyard], ‘The Great Nebula in Andromeda,’ Knowledge (1889), 12, 108.

64 Anonymous [A. C. Ranyard], op. cit. (63), 108.

65 In November 1889 the images in Knowledge were delayed due to the ‘exceptionally dark’ weather. See anonymous, untitled note, Knowledge (1889), 13, 1. For the problems connected with the collotype process see anonymous, ‘Difficulties in the collotype process’, British Journal of Photography (1892), 39, 450–1.

66 For details of the collotype process used in Knowledge see Ranyard, A. C., ‘The collotype process and photo-engraving’, Knowledge (1890), 12, 71–2, 72. In this article Ranyard maintained that the crosshatch could only be seen with a hand magnifier.

67 Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 267.

68 See L. Nead, The Haunted Gallery: Painting, Photography, Film c1900, New Haven, CT and London, 2007, 211.

69 A. C. Ranyard, op. cit. (66), 72.

70 Ranyard, A. C., ‘The Great Nebula in Orion’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 145–8, 145.

71 A. C. Ranyard, op. cit. (70), 145; A. C. Ranyard, op. cit. (54), 75.

72 A. C. Ranyard, op. cit. (70), 145.

73 E. S. Holden, Monograph of the Central Parts of the Nebula of Orion, Washington, DC, 1882.

74 Campbell, W. W., ‘Biographical memoir of Edward Singleton Holden’, National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Biographical Memoirs (1916), 8, 345–72, 351. Osterbrock, op. cit. (14), 83–4.

75 See M. Hoskin, ‘Herschel's investigation of nebulae’, in M. Hoskin, Stellar Astronomy: Historical Studies, Chalfont St Giles, 1982, 125–36.

76 A. C. Ranyard, op. cit. (70), 145.

77 Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 100; Osterbrock, op. cit. (14), 84.

78 A. C. Ranyard, op. cit. (70), 146.

79 Pickering, W. H., ‘Extract from a letter from Professor W. H. Pickering’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 191.

80 Holden, E. S., ‘Extract from a letter from Professor E. S. Holden’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 191.

81 Tucker, op. cit. (36), 3.

82 B. Latour, ‘Drawing things together’, in Representation in Scientific Practice (ed. M. Lynch and S. Woolgar), London, 1990, 18–60, 23.

83 Latour, op. cit. (82), 26; original emphasis.

84 B. Latour, Pandora's Hope, Cambridge, MA, 1999, 58. For a similar argument about the mobilization and the act of looking at astronomical images see Nead, op. cit. (68), 219 and 226.

85 M. Lynch and S. Woolgar, ‘Introduction: sociological orientation to representational practice in science’, in Representation in Scientific Practice (ed. M. Lynch and S. Woolgar), London, 1990, 1–17, 7.

86 Roberts, I., ‘Photographs of the Orion Nebula’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 211.

87 Roberts, op. cit. (86), 211.

88 Roberts, op. cit. (86), 211.

89 Roberts, op. cit. (86), 211.

90 Barnard, E. E., ‘On some celestial photographs made with a large portrait lens at the Lick Observatory’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Association (1890), 50, 310–14, 312; Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 147, 151–3. For the history of wide-field astronomical photography see Osterbrock, D. E., ‘Getting the picture: wide-field astronomical photography from Barnard to the Achromatic Schmidt, 1888–1992’, Journal for the History of Astronomy (1994), 25, 114.

91 These images were also produced by the Direct Photo Engraving Company – the same company Ranyard used for his collotypes. See Barnard, op. cit. (90), 310–14.

92 Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 1–2. For the images of the Moon see Ranyard, A. C., ‘The Moon as seen in the Lick Telescope’, Knowledge (1889), 12, 244–6; Ranyard, A. C., ‘On the great bright streaks which radiate from some of the larger lunar craters’, Knowledge (1889), 13, 128–31. Ranyard also reproduced various photographs of the Lick Observatory and Mount Hamilton in November 1889. See Ranyard, A. C., ‘On large telescopes’, Knowledge (1889), 13, 911.

93 See Holden, E. S., ‘On some features of the arrangement of stars in space’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1889), 50, 61–4; and Barnard, op. cit. (90), 310–14.

94 Ranyard, A. C., ‘On the distribution of the stars in the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1890), 13, 174–5. There were problems printing the second plate and it was actually included in the August number.

95 Ranyard, op. cit. (94), 174.

96 Ranyard, op. cit. (94), 174.

97 Ranyard, op. cit. (94), 174.

98 Holden, op. cit. (93), 64; original emphasis.

99 Holden, op. cit. (93), 63.

100 See Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 17 August 1890, 1. Barnard was ‘specially anxious’ about the large reproduction of the region around 17 h 56′, δ –28°, but wrote ‘it is most admirably done’.

101 Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 26 June 1890, 1–3.

102 Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 26 June 1890, 4.

103 Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 13 May 1890, 4.

104 Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 26 June 1890, 4.

105 Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 268–73.

106 Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 3, 20 October 1890, 1. Ranyard received the images with a letter dated 17 November 1890.

107 Russell, H. C., ‘On some celestial photographs recently taken at Sydney Observatory’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1891), 51, 3943. The same issue contained a second paper by Russell, this time with a line process reproduction of a sketch of his mounting. See ‘On an electrical control for driving clocks’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1891), 51, 43–5.

108 Ranyard, A. C., ‘The Milky Way in the southern hemisphere’, Knowledge (1891), 14, 50–1, 50.

109 Ranyard, op. cit. (108), 50.

110 Ranyard, op. cit. (108), 50–1.

111 Ranyard, op. cit. (108), 51.

112 Barnard, E. E., ‘On the comparison of the photographs of the Milky Way in α=17H 56M. δ=–28° in Knowledge for July 1890, and March 1891’, Knowledge (1891), 14, 93–4, 93.

113 Barnard, op. cit. (112), 93.

114 Barnard, op. cit. (112), 94.

115 Russell, H. C., ‘On the comparison of photographs of the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1891), 14, 172–3, 173.

116 A. C. Ranyard, untitled note, Knowledge (1891), 14, 173.

117 For Ranyard in France see Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 229–30; for Russell's photographs see Ranyard, A. C., ‘The Lunar Appenines’, Knowledge (1892), 15, 31–2; for Ranyard's plans in 1894 see Royal Astronomical Society, Ranyard MS 2, 1–10.

118 Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 273–4.

119 See Ranyard, A. C., ‘On the distance and structure of the Milky Way in Cygnus’, Knowledge (1891), 14, 188–90; Ranyard, A. C., ‘Dark structures in the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1891), 14, 230–2; Barnard, E. E., ‘The great nebulous areas of the sky’, Knowledge (1892), 15, 1416; A. C. Ranyard, ‘What is a nebula’, Knowledge (1892), 15, 191–2; A. C. Ranyard, ‘What is a nebula?’, Knowledge (1893), 16, 10–12; Ranyard, A. C., ‘The η ArgÛs region of the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1893), 16, 50; Clerke, A. M., ‘The distribution of the stars’, Knowledge (1893), 16, 66–8; Ranyard, A. C., ‘The η ArgÛs Nebula’, Knowledge (1893), 16, 6970; A. C. Ranyard, ‘What is a star cluster’, Knowledge (1893), 16, 109–11; Barnard, E. E., ‘On the probable encounter with Brooks' Comet with a disturbing medium on October 21 1893’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 34–5; Ranyard, A. C., ‘Irregularities in the tails of comets’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 35–7; Ranyard, A. C., ‘The structure of the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 61–2; Ranyard, A. C., ‘Streams of stars in the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 101–2; A. C. Ranyard, ‘What is a comet's tail?’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 113–5; A. C. Ranyard, ‘Star clusters in the η ArgÛs region of the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 131–3; W. H. Wesley, ‘On the distribution of the stars in space’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 179–82; A. C. Ranyard, ‘What is a star cluster’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 204–6; A. C. Ranyard, ‘Photographs of the Milky Way and nebulae’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 226; E. E. Barnard and A. C. Ranyard, ‘Structure of the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 253.

120 Sheehan, op. cit. (14), 274–5, 374–9. For Barnard differing with Ranyard see Barnard, E. E., ‘Photographic nebulosities in the Milky Way’, Knowledge (1894), 17, 17. Barnard and Ranyard, op. cit. (119), 253.

121 E. W. Maunder, The Royal Observatory Greenwich: A Glance at Its History and Work, London, 1900, 301. For the aesthetic effects of astronomical photography see Nead, op. cit. (68).

122 Ranyard, op. cit. (70), 145.

123 Maunder, op. cit. (121), 5–6.

124 For instance, the RAS only began to sell photographs directly to the public in 1892 and, by 1895, there were still only twelve different images available. See Tucker, op. cit. (36), 204–7. In 1894 Isaac Roberts published A Selection of Photographs of Stars, Star Clusters and Nebulae, complete with fifty-three collotypes, for thirty shillings. At sixpence a month, with at least two collotypes per number, Knowledge was roughly half the price of Roberts's book, and offered a much wider selection of images than those available at the RAS.

This paper has been long in preparation and has benefited from feedback from colleagues at various seminars and conferences, including Places of Exchange in Glasgow in 2002, the annual conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals in 2004, and seminars at the University of Manchester, the Royal Observatory and Imperial College in 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively. I am grateful for the help provided by Peter Hingley at the library of the Royal Astronomical Society and for permission to quote from the Ranyard manuscripts. Lastly, I would like to record my thanks for the pertinent remarks offered by the anonymous referees on behalf of the BJHS, and the patience of all involved.

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