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Biographical entry Todd, Charles (1826 - 1910)

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    Sir Charles Todd, courtesy of Bureau of Meteorology.
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Born
7 July 1826
Islington, England
Died
29 January 1910
Semaphore, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Astronomer and Meteorologist

Summary

(Sir) Charles Todd was Government Astronomer, Superintendent of Telegraphs and later Postmaster-General, South Australia 1855-1906. Played an instrumental role in the construction of the Overland Telegraph between Adelaide and Darwin.

Details

Born 7 July 1826. Died 29 January 1910. CMG 1872, KCMG 1893. Astronomical Computer, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1841-47, Assistant Astronomer, Cambridge Observatory, 1847-54, Assistant, Greenwich, 1854-55, Astronomical Observer and Superintendent of Telegraphs, South Australia 1855-1870, Postmaster General of South Australia (in addition to Astronomical Observer and Superintendent of Telegraphs) 1870-1906. President, Astronomical Society of South Australia 1892-1910, President, Royal Society of South Australia 1882-83.

Todd became Superintendent of Telegraphs and Government Astronomer and Meteorologist in South Australia in 1855 at the age of 30. By 1858 he had completed telegraph links to Victoria and New South Wales and, by 1872, the overland telegraph to Darwin. As Superintendent of Telegraphs, he made it a duty of all his telegraph operators to make and transmit meteorological observations and he had soon established extensive observing networks throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory, and into Western Australia. Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of London in 1869, he played a leading role in the scientific life of South Australia, even after his formal retirement, until his death in 1909. A Hundred Years of Science and Service, Bureau of Meteorology, 2001.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Geological Survey of South Australia

  • Charles Todd - Records, 1893 - 1899; Geological Survey of South Australia. Details

Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre

  • Melbourne Observatory - Records, 1857 - 1880, VPRS 776; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details
  • Melbourne Observatory - Records, 1859 - 1863, VPRS 779; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details
  • Melbourne Observatory - Records, 1852 - 1943, VPRS 780; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details
  • Melbourne Observatory - Records, 1859 - 1862, VPRS 869; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details
  • Melbourne Observatory - Records, 1859 - 1919, VPRS 775; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Charles Todd - Records, 1855 - 1881, PRG 630; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details
  • Royal Society of South Australia - Records, 1853 - 1969, SRG 10; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

State Records of South Australia

  • Charles Todd - Records, 1852 - 1901; State Records of South Australia. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Gibbs, W. J., The Origins of Australian Meteorology , Metarch Papers No. 12, Bureau of Meteorology, 1998. Details

Book Sections

  • Symes, G. W., 'Todd, Sir Charles (1826-1910), astronomer, meteorologist and electrical engineer', in Bede Nairn (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 6, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1976, pp. 280-282. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060301b.htm. Details

Journal Articles

  • Cryle, Denis, 'From Outback Icon to Imperial Time Lord: "Reinventing" Sir Charles Todd (1910-2010)', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 35, 2011, pp. 65-82. Details
  • Edwards, P. G., 'Charles Todd and the Adelaide Observatory', Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia, vol. 10, 1993, pp. 349-54. Details
  • McCarthy, Gavan, 'The Overland Telegraph and Undersea Cable: Australia's First Electronic Information Network', Australasian Science, vol. 22, no. 10, 2001, p. 46. Details
  • Todd, C., 'A Review of Meteorological Work in Australia', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. v, 1893, pp. 246-270. Details

Online Resources

See also

Digital resources

Title
Sir Charles Todd
Type
Image
Publisher
Bureau of Meteorology

Details

McCarthy, G.J.