American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Of General Interest, Two Anniversaries

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1949

OF General Interest

Two Anniversaries. The year 1949 marks the centenary of the birth of Albert Heim (1849-1937) and the 65th anniversary of the death of Arnold Guyot (1807-84), two of the foremost glacial geologists of the past century.

Born at Zürich, Heim owed his early interest in geology to Escher von der Linth. At the age of 16 he made a model of the Tödi group. In 1873 he became professor of geology at the Polytechnic of Zürich, and two years later he succeeded Escher in the same position at the university. In 1882 he became director of the Geological Survey of Switzerland. He was elected an honorary member of the Alpine Club in 1897 and received the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London in 1904, for his distinguished research in Alpine structure. His Mechanismus der Gebirgsbildung remains a classic.

Guyot was born at Neuchâtel. As early as 1838, at the suggestion of Agassiz, he undertook the study of glaciers. He was the first to announce the more rapid flow of the center than of the sides, and the more rapid flow of the top than of the bottom. He described the laminated structure of ice, and ascribed the movement to molecular displacement rather than to sliding of the mass as held by de Saussure. Induced by Agassiz to come to America in 1848, Guyot became professor of geology and physical geography at Princeton in 1854 and retained the post until his death. One of his best-known works, Earth and Man: Lectures of Comparative Geography, was translated into English in 1849. His extensive meteorological observations in this country led to the establishment of the U.S. Weather Bureau.

J. M. T.

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