Andrew Thomson

(1893-1974) Director of the Canadian Meteorological Service (1946-59); Society President (1949-50).

ANDREW THOMSON (1893-1974) was the last of a line of Directors of the Canadian Meteorological Service to play an important part in the RASC. Thomson grew up near Owen Sound, Ontario, and attended the University of Toronto, earning his M.A. in 1916. After a year at Harvard and a short time working as "mathematical aide" to Thomas Edison, he was employed as a physicist in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institute, 1918-22. During this time he went to Brazil for the 1919 solar eclipse and was at sea for two years investigating atmospheric electricity. His career then took him to Samoa where he directed a meteorological observatory. Work in New Zealand, Germany and Norway followed before his return to Canada in 1931. He was with the Meteorological Service of Canada from then until his retirement in 1959, the last 13 years as Director. He was a Fellow of the RSC, Vice-President of the American Meteorological Society and of the Royal Meteorological Society, received an honorary D.Sc. from McGill, and was named to the Order of the British Empire.

Thomson seems to have become interested in the Society through the 1932 Solar eclipse. He was certainly part of the group at Louiseville, Quebec, and he joined the RASC later that year. He spoke to the Toronto Centre a few times in the 1930s, was elected to the General Council in 1936 and was national Vice-President and President 1947-50. While on a business trip to the Pacific Coast he visited the five western Centres from Winnipeg to Victoria. Several papers of his appeared in the Journal, including his Presidential Address, "The Unknown Country", a fascinating look at Canada's Arctic.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

Thomson, Andrew