Newcomb's career highlights
In the late 19th century, Newcomb (3/12/1835-7/11/1909) was one of America's best-known and most vocal scientists.
- Largely self-taught until he entered Harvard in his early 20s (B.S. 1858)
- In astronomy, revised standard tables for astronomical calculations; improved measurements of the movements of the moon and planets
- Published the textbook Principles of Political Economy, 1885, in the footsteps of classical political economics, with his own views on the relationship of the dollar to commodities, and a mathematical equation for the circulation of money
- In 1892, chaired the mathematics subcommittee of the National Educational Association’s “Committee of Ten,” which helped reform secondary-school curricula
Favorite Newcomb quotes
If my impressions are correct, our educational planing mill cuts down all the knots of genius, and reduces the best of the men who go through it to much the same standard.
Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.
Quite likely the twentieth century is destined to see the natural forces which will enable us to fly from continent to continent with a speed far exceeding that of a bird.
I had not yet gotten into the world of light. But I felt as one who, standing outside, could knock against the wall and hear an answering knock from within.