Sous-fonds - Frank S. Hogg sous-fonds

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Reference code

Title

Frank S. Hogg sous-fonds

Date(s)

  • 1917-1970 (Creation)

Level of description

Sous-fonds

Extent and medium

1.4 m of textual and graphic records (9 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

(1904-1951)

Biographical history

Professor of astronomy at the University of Toronto, Director of Dunlap Observatory.

Born in Preston Ontario and a graduate of the University of Toronto in 1926, Frank Scott Hogg was the first to be awarded a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard College. It was during his graduate studies that he met Helen Sawyer whom he married in 1930. After travelling to Europe and the Western United States on a Parker Travelling Fellowship visiting observatories, Dr. Hogg was offered a position at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria B.C., then under the direction of J.S. Plaskett. He and his wife Helen both undertook research at the D.O.A. until 1934 when they moved to the newly opened David Dunlap Observatory, where Frank Hogg became a lecturer.

Through the years, he rose through the ranks to become a professor of astronomy and finally head of the department and Director of the David Dunlap Observatory in 1946. His main interest lay in the radial velocity program of which he spent much of the time observing, measuring and computing data. During the war, he taught Air Navigation and is credited for inventing a two-star sextant intended to simplify navigation. Under his direction the D.D.O. undertook and completed many observing programs and a Ph.D. program was initiated. Unfortunately, Dr. Hogg did not live to see the first Ph.D. student graduate. He died of a heart ailment on New Years Day 1951, at the age of forty-six.

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Scope and content

Records in this sous-fonds offer a good outline of the educational and professional achievements of Frank Scott Hogg. Correspondence, lecture notes and related teaching files, research notes and draft manuscripts of articles all document his professional career as an astronomer. There are also draft articles for his Toronto Star column which, after his death, was taken over by his wife.

Of special mention are the notes, reports, correspondence and blueprints relating to the invention of the two-star sexton, a device designed to simplify astronomical navigation (1940-1943). The project was supported by government grants and the working models, designed and built at the Dunlap Observatory by Dr. Hogg and Dr. R.K. Young, were extensively tested by the Armed forces during World War II. Two original sextants have survived: one is housed at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, the other at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Nearly half of the records in this sous-fond are Frank Hogg's student papers, documenting his undergraduate course work at the University of Toronto (1922-1926) and subsequent graduate research at Harvard University culminating in his earning the first astronomy Ph.D. from this institution (1926-1929). Course notes, laboratory exercise books, statements of academic standing and scholarships provide a record of the structure and content of his education over a seven-year period. Books III, IV and V of research observations used for his Ph.D. thesis have survived along with a copy of his thesis. Books I, II and VI of his Ph.D. research were acquired earlier by the University of Toronto Archives and can be found in accession B82-0026. There are also some photos that relate to his education including his graduation portrait from the University of Toronto (1925).

In terms of personal papers, there is a small sampling of correspondence that has been filed at the beginning with his professional correspondence. For the period after 1930, correspondence found in Series I and X of the Helen Hogg fond is far more extensive. There are a few files that show his involvement in the Presbyterian Church, the Lions Club, and the Richmond Hill District High School Board that he chaired from 1949-50. Some memorabilia and some biographical files complete this scant collection of his personal life.

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Open

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Alternative identifier(s)

Retrieval code

B1994-0002/072 - /077

Retrieval code

B2015-0007/014 - /016

Retrieval code (photographs)

B1994-0002/001P(38)-(39)

Retrieval code (oversize)

B2015-0007/018(06)-(08)

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