Brashear, John Alfred

Brashear, John Alfred brəshēr´ [key], 1840–1920, American maker of scientific instruments and educator, b. Brownsville, Pa. A mechanic by trade, he taught himself the art of making lenses and mirrors for telescopes. Aided by the encouragement of Samuel P. Langley, he perfected his techniques. From 1880 he devoted himself to the business of making astronomical instruments and became noted in the field. Active also in many civic and educational projects, he contributed to the growth of the Allegheny Observatory of the Univ. of Pittsburgh and served as trustee and chancellor (1902–4) of the university.

See his autobiography (1924); biography by H. L. Gaul and R. Eiseman (1940).

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