Milwaukee Astronomical Society


MAS Historic Archive

This section is dedicated to historic images, documents and members who have contributed to the success of the Milwaukee Astronomical Society.

Historic Documents Category

Henry Gerner

It is hoped that by resurrecting records that members will learn and appreciate the rich history of their society and its contacts with professional astronomers. The first letters reproduced here are from Otto Struve. Otto Struve first became the Director of Yerkes Observatory in July of 1932, the same year the Milwaukee Astronomical Society was created (September 1932). He was instrumental in hiring astronomers such as Gerard P. Kuiper (who did photographic studies of the planets and their satellites at Yerkes) and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (who received the Nobel Prize on his mathematical theory on supernovae) and also Bengt Stromgren (who is known for his work on explaining the nature of ionized hydrogen clouds). Otto Struve himself used spectroscopy in investigating binary and variable stars, rotation of stars and the matter in space between stars. He also was the Director of McDonald Observatory in Texas that was connected with the University of Chicago as was Yerkes in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. It will become apparent after seeing some of these letters and photographs in future focal point letters how society members were active in many areas of astronomy. For more information on Otto Struve, I recommend the book Yerkes Observatory 1892–1950 by Donald E. Osterbrock. The book can be purchased at Yerkes Observatory or signed out from the MAS library.

History of the MAS

If you're interested in a fairly comprehensive history of the Milwaukee Astronomical Society from its very beginnings back in 1932, we have it here presented in various time periods. There are many pictures and slideshows along with stories about them. We hope that you get a real sense of how special our club really is and how it is all rooted in what has happened in the past. Click here to read about it. 

MAS Newsletters

A rich source of our club's history can be found in the newsletters of the MAS through the years. We have scanned all of them going back to 1934. Click here to see them.

Ongoing History

Though it might go without saying, our MAS history is ongoing. If you have any MAS related photographs past or present, we would appreciate receiving them so they may be included. For anything already digitized, please email them to the webmaster.  If you need them scanned, please contact the webmaster who will get that done and return the materials.