Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Sollenberger, Paul

Reference work entry

BornKokomo, Indiana, USA, 14 August 1891

DiedMiami, Florida, 22 May 1995

Paul Sollenberger served as the first civilian director of the US Naval Observatory’s Time Service, where he made significant contributions to the design of quartz crystal clocks, chronographs, and the photographic zenith tube, greatly increasing the precision of time during his long tenure as director from 1928 to 1953. He lived to the extraordinary age of 103, lucid and energetic to the end. Minor planet (5367) Sollenberger was named in his honor.

Sollenberger was the second son born to a seamstress, Olive Sollenberger; his father, John Sollenberger, worked as a mechanic and left the family when Sollenberger was only seven, making for a destitute life where not even food was assured. Sollenberger married three times during his long life, and his only child, Jane, was born to his second wife, Laila Bowman.

After he graduated from high school in Kokomo in 1909, Sollenberger’s interest in astronomy began when he...

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Selected References

  1. Dick, Steven J. (2001). Sky and Ocean Joined: The U. S. Naval Observatory, 1830–2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Sollenberger, Paul. “Time Determination and Time Keeping,” Popular Astronomy, 50 (1942, pp. 74–77.ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA/Library of CongressWashingtonUSA