JAMES JOSEPH WADSWORTH (1842-1905)
The following was published in the RASC Transactions for 1905.
JAMES JOSEPH WADSWORTH died at Simcoe, Ont., on March
11, 1905, in his 64th year. His birth place was Toronto. From
the University of Toronto he obtained the degree of B.A. in
1860, M.A. in 1863, and M.B. in 1869. He was a gold medallist
in Arts and a silver medallist in medicine.
For over thirty-three years he was school inspector for the
county of Norfolk, and though his duties were arduous, he yet
found time for special research in fields unknown to the ordinary
busy man. From early life he was deeply interested in astronomy,
and while at the University, by contact with other kindred minds
and by using the means at his disposal, he developed his taste
When engaged in his lifework he was never without a tele-
scope, large or small, and he finally constructed one for himself.
It is a reflecting telescope with a mirror 1234 inches in diameter,
and at the time it was made it was the largest reflector in Canada.
Its definition is admirable, and when we learn that Dr. Wadsworth
not only ground and polished the mirror, but also constructed
the machine necessary to accomplish the delicate work, we must
conclude that his gifts were many.
Dr. Wadsworth was for many years a member of the British
Astronomical Association and of the Royal Astronomical Society
of Canada, and to the latter he communicated many interesting
observations and notes. He also had a personal correspondence
with many prominent astronomers in Great Britain. But perhaps
his greatest service to astronomy consisted in the seeds of interest
in the subject which he planted as he went about his daily work,
—seeds which, warmed by his kindly nature and jovial disposition,
will assuredly in the future bear valuable fruit.