Our History

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The Barnard Astronomical Society of Chattanooga Tennessee. 1923 –

F. M. Cordell, Sr., Archivist, Barnard Astronomical Society.

The organization of the Barnard Astronomical Society in many ways founded amateur astronomy in Tennessee. From the beginning it shaped the progress of engineering, science, education, and the architecture of the city of Chattanooga. Indeed, it is an organization soliciting members from all walks of life who have a common bond at the eyepiece of a telescope.

On November 15 of 1923 Professor Burleigh S. Annis organized and chaired a meeting at the Central Y.M.C.A. in downtown Chattanooga. The body consisted of teachers, business persons, artists, publishers and doctors of the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain townships.

The secretary, Mr. John Bailey Nicklin, Jr. brought the bylaws to first reading and Dr. Annetta Trimble moved the new society be named after the distinguished Tennessee astronomer, Professor Edward Emerson Barnard, who had recently died.

The history of the society embodies the history of amateur telescope making in the south eastern United States. Through the efforts of Clarence T. Jones in the year 1937 it produced a 20.5 inch Cassegrain reflector. This instrument, its observatory and planetarium stand today as prologue for those see astronomy as the inspiration of science.

Next — The Prime Movers