George Clyde Fisher
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|Born||George Clyde Fisher
May 22, 1878
Sidney, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||January 7, 1949(aged 70)|
|Alma mater||Miami University, Johns Hopkins University|
|Occupation||Academic, botanist, astronomer, curator|
|Spouse(s)||Te Ata Fisher, Bessie Wiley|
|Parent(s)||Harrison Jay & Amanda (Rhinehart) Fisher|
George Clyde Fisher was born on May 22, 1878, near Sidney, Ohio, the son of Harrison Fisher, a farmer. He attended public schools and later enrolled at Ohio Normal University. He graduated from Miami University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1905, and for two years just after graduation he was a science teacher at Troy High School (Troy, Ohio). He was the principal of Palmer College Academy in 1907–1909 and acting president in 1909–10, after which he went back to school and earned a Ph.D. degree in botany from Johns Hopkins University. He taught summer courses in ornithology at Cornell University, the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee.
In 1913 Fisher became the curator of visual instruction work with schools and colleges for the American Museum of Natural History. He was named curator of astronomy in 1924, and in 1935 he became head of the Hayden Planetarium. He held these titles until he became the Honorary Curator of Astronomy at the museum and planetarium. Leading up to the creation of the Hayden Planetarium, Fisher visited European planetariums, including the Zeiss projection planetariums in Germany. The planetarium was eventually funded by and named after Charles Hayden. The Hayden Planetarium opened on October 3, 1935.
While working for the museum and planetarium, Fisher also made several expeditions to observe astronomical events. He led an expedition to Peru to observe the solar eclipse of June 8, 1937. For previous eclipses Fisher flew above the clouds to photograph them.Previously, he was a member of a Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology eclipse expedition to Siberia, in 1936. Also, in 1943–44 he went with a team of scientists to the volcano Parícutin in Mexico. Fisher also took professional trips to the Bermudas in 1923, and Lapland in 1925. During his career he was also a prolific writer and had many articles published.
- "Garrett P. Serviss: One Who Loved the Stars" Popular Astronomy Vol. XXXVII, No. 7, August–September 1929
- "With John Burroughs at Slabsides" Natural History: The Journal of the American Museum of Natural History Vol. XXXI, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 1931
- "The Eclipse in Kazakhstan" Natural History Vol. XXXVIII, No. 3, pp. 203–210, 1936
- "The Meteor Craters in Estonia" Natural History Vol. XXXVIII, No. 4, pp. 292–299, 1936
- "Birds of Oxford, Ohio and Vicinity"
- "Exploring Heavens" 1937
- "Astronomy" (with Marian Lockwood) 1940
- "The True Story of the Moon" 1943
Fisher was also editor of "Nature's Secrets" which was later known as the "Nature Encyclopedia"; and was co-editor with M.L. Langham of the "Nature Science Series" in 1934. He also lectured frequently on John Burroughs.
Fisher married his first wife, Bessie Wiley on August 29, 1905. They had three children together: Ruth Anna, Beth Elinor, and Katherine Wiley. They divorced in 1933. He would later marry Te Ata, a Chickasaw storyteller. They remained married until his death on January 7, 1949.
- National Cyclopedia of American Biography Vol. 35, pg. 555–556
- "Obituary Notices: Fisher, (George) Clyde" Royal Astronomical Society Vol. 110, pg. 129, 1950
- Who Was Who, Vol. II, pg. 187
- Miami University – Clyde Fisher and Te Ata Collection
- Shelby County Historical Society – Traveling Through Time: Sidney Man Touches the Last Frontier
- The New York Botanical Garden, Mertz Library, Archives and Manuscripts – (George) Clyde Fisher Papers
- American Museum of Natural History – Hidden Collections: Stories from the Archives, "Much to Our Cha(grin)