An exhibit of photomicrographs
by Wilson A. Bentley
Presented by the Schwerdtfeger Library
Space Science and Engineering Center, UW-Madison
    The Major Scientific Publications of Wilson A. Bentley
   Related web sites
Making paper snowflakes
Snow activities
The Major Scientific Publications of Wilson A. Bentley
(Reproduced with permission from
Weatherwise v.23, no.6, December 1970
and Heldref Publications)

        1. Bentley, W.A. and G.H. Perkins.  A study of snow crystals.
                Appleton's Popular Science Monthly v.53, no.1, May 1898, pp75-82.
                A description of snowflake photography is given.  Three pages of plates are shown.

        2. Bentley, W.A.  Twenty years' study of snow crystals.
                Monthly Weather Review v.29, no.5, May 1901, pp212-214.
                This is his first paper in the Monthly Weather Review.

        3. Bentley, W.A.  Studies among the snow crystals during the winter of 1901-02, with
                additional data  collected during previous winters. 
                Monthly Weather Review v.30, no.13, Annual 1902, pp607-616.
                Here he attempts to classify the crystals as a function of temperature and to deduce
                from the crystal form the temperature and wind profile within the cloud.  This was the
                major contribution in this paper.  In this he was far ahead of his time.  The paper is
                accompanied by 264 photomicrographs.

        4. Bentley, W.A.  Studies of raindrops and raindrop phenomena.
                Monthly Weather Review v.32, no.10, October 1904, pp450-456.
                This is the first study of raindrops in the United States and one of the best ever carried
                out.  He  sampled from 70 storms and made deductions concerning the segment of the
                storm that gave drops of certain sizes.  He commented on a relation between lightning
                and drop size and discussed the  evaporation of drops.  His greatest insight was the
                recognition of the dual origin of rain.  It can evolve  from snow or via coalescence.  Here
                again Bentley was many years ahead of his time.  All the raindrop samples were obtained
                with his flour method.

        5. Bentley, W.A.  Snow rollers.
                Monthly Weather Review v.34, no.7, July 1906, pp325-326.

        6. Bentley, W.A.  Studies of frost and ice crystals.
                Monthly Weather Review v.35, nos.8-12, August-December 1907, pp348-352,
                397-403, 439-444, 512-516, 584-585.
                This is a long and detailed account which includes 179 photomicrographs of frost and
                hail.  He discusses  at length the origin of frost crystals and their classification.  He also
                discusses the formation of hail.

        7. Bentley, W.A.  Photomicrographs of snow crystals, and methods of reproduction.
                Monthly Weather Review v.46, no.8, August 1918, pp359-360.

        8. Bentley, W.A.  The magic beauty of snow and dew.
                National Geographic Magazine v.43, no.1, January 1923, pp103-112.
                The short text is accompanied by over 100 photomicrographs of ice crystals, frost patterns,
                and dew. He says the beauty of snow was known long ago for in the book of Job is "Hast
                thou entered into the treasures of the Snow?"

        9. Bentley, W.A.  Forty years' study of snow crystals.
                Monthly Weather Review v.52, no.11, November 1924, pp530-532.
                Bentley's collection now numbers 4,200 photomicrographs.  In this article he discusses,
                among other things, bubbles in ice crystals and the supercooling of cloud drops to around
                0 degrees F.

        10. Bentley, W.A.  Some recent treasures of the snow.
                Monthly Weather Review v.55, no.8, August 1927, pp358-359.
                He now has over 4,700 photomicrographs.  He talks of past years and tells of his work
                with Professor Barnes at McGill University.  He mentions an increased interest the world
                over in snow crystals.  His text alternates from scientific talk to exclamations of beauty.
                He ends with "Perhaps it is not too much to say that the results of his studies form one
                of the 'little romances of science.'"

        11. Bentley, W.A.  Conical snow.
                Monthly Weather Review v.59, no.10, October 1931, p388.
                This is a short paper of only two paragraphs.  The same paper, with an added first sentence
                appeared in Science v.75, no.1945, 8 April 1932, p383.

        12. Bentley, W.A. and W.J. Humphreys.
                Snow Crystals.  New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1931.  227p.
                An unabridged and unaltered replication of the work was published by Dover Publications
                in 1962.   The book contains only about 10 pages of text, but about 200 pages of photomicrographs.
                Nearly 2,500 photomicrographs are shown, most of snow crystals but some of dew, frost, and hail.

Related web sites:  Making paper snowflakes: Snow activities:
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