The discoverers of the se curios believe they were used as weights in prototypical thermometers; and thus Sokol adduces them as evidence that among the settlers at Jamestown there 'may possibly have been a gentleman scientist' (p.
209) Elio Modigliani (1860-1932); the Philadelphia millionaire gentleman scientist William Louis Abbott (1860-1936), the Smithsonian Institution's major early donor of collections; the German ethnologist and dogged traveller Wilhelm Muller-Wismar (1881-1916); and the Frankfurt academic Ernst Vatter, who with his wife Hanna collected widely in Flores, the Solor Islands, Pantar and Alor in the late 1920s.
The history of the RASC reflects the transition of astronomy from the world of the gentleman scientist to today's "naturalist of the night." In the early years, many of the society's goals were focused on encouraging research as well as public interest in astronomy.
Set in mid-Victorian Lyme Regis, the story revolves around how gentleman scientist Charles Smithson rejects 19th century morality to break off his engagement to Ernestina Freeman for the fallen French lieutenant's woman Sarah Woodruff.
With his trademark monocle (which isn't just for effect--having perfect sight in the other eye, he saw no sense in wearing spectacles with one plain lens, and he has worn it since the age of 16), Moore symbolizes the archetypal and slightly eccentric English gentleman scientist both at home and abroad.