The Snowflake Man

whitebrickhouse et REJOYCIN'

3n_Christmas CountdownIf I was to compose a list of awe-inspiring, endearing people, Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley would surely make my top ten. Born February 9, 1865 in Jericho, Vermont, Mr. Bentley was a pioneer in the area of photomicrography, most notably his extensive work with snow crystals (commonly known as snowflakes). By adapting a microscope to a bellows camera, and years of trial and error, he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885.¹

He perfected a process of catching flakes on black velvet in such a way that their images could be captured before they either melted or sublimated. He would go on to capture more than 5000 snowflakes during his lifetime, not finding any two alike—reminiscent of the phrase, “no two snowflakes are alike”.

“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen…

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