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Porter, Russell Williams, 1871-1949



  • Existence: 1871 - 1949


Russell William Porter was born in 1871 in Springfield, Vermont. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in architecture. Unable to find work, he became an Arctic explorer. Porter sailed with Admiral Peary on two expeditions, returning with sketches of Eskimos and the ice lands. He went on two more expeditions as artist and meteorologist with other explorers. On his last trip, his ship was crushed by ice and Porter and another man were marooned on Franz Josef Land for two years after they left their party to find help. After his return, Porter began building cottages for a living before becoming interested in telescopes. He got a job with Jones and Lamson machine makers in Springfield as an optical expert. There he built a new kind of reflecting telescope, invented an optical comparator for precision measuring and wrote a book "Amateur Telescope Making." During World War II, Porter worked for the Navy making visualizations of their secret weapon. He died in 1949.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Russell Porter papers

Identifier: Mss-118
Stefansson Mss-118
Date(s): 1894 to 1945

Russell William Porter (1871-1949), artist-scientist. Consist of drafts of his unpublished book book "Arctic Fever," as well as a typescript copy of a diary kept on the Ziegler Polar Expedition (1903-1905). Autobiographical notes and watercolor sketches are also included.