24 January 2010

wilson a. bentley - snowflakes

Wilson A. Bentley was the first person to capture the image
of a single snowflake with a camera

fascinated with snowflakes, Bentley rigged up a microscope
to a bellows camera and took images of individual snowflakes

the year was 1885 and the technology became known as

in 1931, Bentley's groundbreaking book "Snow Crystals", recorded
the beautiful designs and fragility of 2,500 snowflakes

"under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles
of beauty; & it seemed a shame that this beauty should not
be seen & appreciated by others.
every crystal was a masterpiece of design, & no one design
was ever repeated.
when a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost."

a few weeks after his book was published, Wilson A. Bentley,
walking through a blizzard, caught pneumonia and died.

{read & see more here}


  1. I have seen a reprint of the book, it is fascinating to look at. Dover Books in the US published it. I am not certain if it is still in print.

  2. Len - it would be lovely to see a copy from when it was first printed.

  3. Amazing images, amazing story. I'm hoping to track down a reprint of this book now. Incredible stuff!

  4. gigi - it's such a beautiful and sad story, isn't it.