Undated letter (no year given—likely 1941), found in a 1937 variable star logbook from Toronto.

September 30TH
Box 56 Fairbank PO

Dear Miss Northcott

I have your lettr of Sept 8TH which came while I was away and I decided to make note about the extra noted variables. I sometimes add every time I have put, such as,:- ?Var. variable, without any letter prefix, it has been when such is marked in the D chart, against some one particular star and is evidently inviting us to observe it. many times I have noticed a distinct difference in some comparison star such as for example one may be marked 101 and yet prove on comparing to be less than another marked 106, in such cases I have gone around several others proving the one as being altered as variable, then using mr Brochiis way of locating it (as when we get the correction Bulletin). I measure in millimeters distance East or West of the Variable the Chart is designated for and the distance North or South marking both as 17MM W of & 28 MM N.

I found one on last months report & sent it in by lettr next Day after I marked for the Report as I found the note on my Desk afterwards

Once I asked Mr Campbell if it was worth me


sending such observations in when I found what appeared a miss quoted size & He said Yes,' very much as that is the way they locate more variable & such as then marked ? Variable until further observations reveal something definite.

I located the Asteroid Pomona just as accidentally as it was a 104 star so nicely formatting a triangle yet not shown on D chart, but I do not want to send you these extra notes if they are out of you normal line of entering.

When I came back at end of Aug from Fairy Lake Huntsville I was vexed at having forgot my tripod, as I never saw such brilliant stars, even the Milky Way was like an auroral glow, & my camera would not set right, when I returned Home I was so worried with Rag weed ailment, that on invitation of a Cousins lad I know, I went up next morning & was able to breathe good & seeing the need of a lot of laser to fix His ground for the seting out of Posts Etc for His planned summer Cottage, I returned Home with Him, & then next Day packed my own car for a weeks work, wheel Barrow, shovels, pick, Post ??? & general ??? outlay, & Mrs. Pilkington crated up tin goods, Etc for an extended ??? trip. I removed some 30 tons of Earth & rock cutting out a 8'6" wide 22'0" long, 4' deep Passage into a Hill for a Garage, later base of His Cottage Verandah, & at Dark saw some very clear skies, the extra brilliant stars confused me so I could not tell some constellations or if new stars


I bough a slightly firmer tripod on the Sat from ??? before we went up, (and forget it) anyway the two brilliant nights of Aurora I ??? a few ??? & found my camera was up to an old trick it would open on time seting & immediately close again so I did not get any results, but 1 photo here at Home which is in wash tray, nothing remarkable though.

My Dome is still up after the wind but, fences, caved in an annemometer blow over, also two rain barrels on top one on the other, went rolling across field. I came Home early in it and saved fences by staying them with, ladders, Pipes Etc,

I did very little on A.A.V.S.O, some reason being we had visitors on clear nights who came special, some here for Exhibition, other reasons I was busy doing ??? of photos, I took 66 exposures, ??? 22, and had family orders here for many reprints, (same every Holiday) I dream making prints every Holiday season.

geting back to your letter, any ??? ??? variables, I will interpolate R.A. & Dec of the special ones as you may not have the same chart as I to measure from on same scale.

I was very interested in reading "the Role of Mathematics in Astronomy" by A.T. DeLury. You know I cannot hear lectures & it is good to get them in print. those Radio talks in our Journals have been greatly interesting as I never use the Radio other than for time signals,

Yours Truly Bert Topham.
I'm very sorry your Holiday was marred by rain. I was ??? like a ??? of the ???


I have not heard from Bill Buscombe glad you familiarized me of Him so I will more easily know how to write Him whenever He writes me.

I am going up Crystal Lake to cover in our excavation, from Rid Oct 10TH - 13TH.




Could be 1941 or 1947, due to noting Friday, October 10th, more likely the former.

Topham mentions (bottom of page 3) a JRASC article by A.T. DeLury, The Role of Mathematics in Astronomy (published in September 1941) so that favours 1941. Also, given the physical labour he describes doing (lower half of page 2), that rules out any year after his accident (1944).