Friday, January 8, 2010

Doctor Van Der Weyde's Obituary -- January 8, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Here is his obituary from the 19-March-1895 New York Times. The image comes from the first installment of his memoirs, "Reminisces of an Active Life", in the February, 1893 issue of Manufacturer and Builder.

Prof. Peter H. Vander Weyde.

Peter H. Vander Weyde, the scientist, died yesterday morning at his home, 82 Clinton Place. He had been ill for several days. He was eighty-two years old.

Prof. Vander Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland. He was a descendant of Walter Vander Vogel Weyde, the famous troubador of the fourteenth century. Another ancestor was Roger Vander Weyde, the celebrated Dutch painter. The family emigrated from Germany to Holland at the time of the Reformation.

Prof. Vander Weyde studied at Durpldorf and was graduated from the Royal Academy at Delft. He was a scientific writer and teacher in Holland, and Professor of Mathematics and Natual Philosophy at the Government School of Design. In 1842 he founded a journal devoted to mathematics and physics, and in 1845 received a gold medal from the Society for the Promotion of Scientific Knowledge for a textbook on natural philosophy. At the same time he was the editor of a liberal daily paper which waged vigorous warfare against existing abuses in the Government.

He came to New-York in 1849. He studied and was graduated from the New-York University Medical College in 1856, and practiced medicine until 1859. In that year he was appointed Professor of Physics, Chemistry, and Higher Mathematics at the Cooper Institute. He was also Professor of Chemistry in the New-York Medical College.

The chair of Industrial Science was expressly created for him in 1864 at Girard College, Philadelphia. He resigned this professorship a few years later, and returning to New-York became editor of The Manufacturer and Builder, a scientific journal. He contributed many articles of a scientific nature to Appleton's New American Cyclopedia, of which he was an editor.

As an inventor and electrician he had a wide reputation. He had over 200 patents on inventions of his own, mostly electrical.

Prof. Vander Weyde was also noted as a musician and composer, and was a painter of considerable merit. For twenty years he was organist of the First Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn. His writings for the scientific press have been extensive, and within a week of his death he wrote and completed an article on modern electricity for one of the New-York scientific journals. The funeral will take place tomorrow.

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