Mar

30

 The life of John "Earthquake" Milne, developer of the horizontal pendelum seismograph ("Father of Modern Seismology') is well worthy of a screen or stage play.

A quite fascinating person and true gentleman from the Victorian-age. Milne is remembered and honored by the Japanese for his contributions to seismology but little known on his home turf (Shide, Isle of Wight, England) where a pub evidently is named after him.

He must have had a very good sense of humor as this account relates:

'When the seismograph had been set up,' he recalls, 'Milne visited it often but nothing ever seemed to happen. Then, one day, the Professor was excited but puzzled to find a series of enormous swings on the trace for which he could not account. A week later and at the same time of the day they appeared again. Milne eventually deduced that the records were made when the butler and the housekeeper were both off duty together!'

- Earthquake Milne and the Isle of Wight by Leslie Herbert-Gustar and Patrick A. Nott, Vectis Biographies (1974)


Paul Kabrna
has written a book about Milne and it is ironic that Milne's great-nephew is pictured holding a print of a Japanese tsunami. Milne's elegant,Japanese wife Tone is frequently shown in pictures from the seismological observatory in Shide, Isle of Wight and must have been a great help and support to Milne.

This great-nephew, Australian doctor William Twycross is making a documentary about Milne that will likely be completed in time for the 100th year commemoration of Milne's death.

from an article about him:

'The English-born Milne was the first to scientifically measure tremors so that he could delineate the earthquake fault line near Japan's east coast, one of many feats that clearly impressed Dr Twycross. "He was quite an extraordinary man, a watercolour artist, an ornithologist, an archaeologist, a very inventive geographer, an inventor, and he played the piano very well, very much a man of the people," he says.'


Comments

Name

Email

Website

Speak your mind

Archives

Resources & Links

Search