Wilson Bentley
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Wilson Alwyn Bentley (1865 - 1931)

Wilson Alwyn "Snowflake" Bentley
Born in Jericho, Vermont, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Jericho, Vermont, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Jan 2016
This page has been accessed 1,727 times.


Notables Project
Wilson Bentley is Notable.

"From the earliest memories of our childhood, many of us can remember hearing the phrase "no two snowflakes are alike". This discovery was made in the small rural town of Jericho, Vermont by Wilson A. Bentley. [1] "Wilson is one of the first known photographers of snowflakes. 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."[2] According to his Wikipedia Bio:

"Bentley published an article in which he argued that no two snowflakes were alike. This concept caught the public imagination and he published other articles in magazines, including National Geographic, Nature, Popular Science, and Scientific American. His photographs have been requested by academic institutions worldwide.[3]

In 1924 the American Meteorological Society awarded Bentley the first research grant ever awarded by the society. It was given to Bentley for "40 years of extremely patient work."[4]

In 1931 Bentley worked with William J. Humphreys of the U.S. Weather Bureau to publish Snow Crystals, a monograph illustrated with 2,500 photographs. His other publications include the entry on "snow" in the fourteenth Edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.[5]

Bentley also photographed all forms of ice and natural water formations including clouds and fog. He was the first American to record raindrop sizes and was one of the first cloud physicists.

He died of pneumonia at his farm on December 23, 1931, after walking home six miles in a blizzard. Bentley was memorialized in the naming of a science center in his memory at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont. Shortly before his death, his book Snow Crystals was published by McGraw/Hill and is still in print today.

Edwin J is show as the father and Fanny the mother of Wilson Bentley born February 7, 1865.[6]

Thomas Wilson is listed as the father and Fanny Colton the mother of Wilson Bentley's death certificate. [7]


  1. [SnowflakeBentley.com Bio of Wilson Bentley]
  2. [Wikipedia Bio for Wilson Bentley]
  3. Id. Wikipedia citing in fn 5 Moreno, Fred. 'Wilson Bentley: The Man Who Studied Snowflakes', Update (New York: New York Academy of Sciences, June/July/August 2005) pp. 8-9..
  4. The Snow Flake Man, Duncan C. Blanchard, (1970). Weatherwise, 23(6), 260-269.
  5. Id Wikipedia citing in fn 7: "Bentley Snow Crystal Collection of the Buffalo Museum of Science: Other Resources". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  6. "Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8LL-SBZ : accessed 23 January 2016), Wilson A. Bentley, 07 Feb 1865; citing JERICHO TWP,CHITTENDEN,VERMONT, reference ; FHL microfilm unknown.
  7. "Vermont Vital Records, 1760-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XFK5-1VP : accessed 23 January 2016), Wilson A Bentley, 23 Dec 1931, Death; State Capitol Building, Montpelier; FHL microfilm 1,983,421.

Wilson Bentley, the Snowflake Man by Blanchard, Duncan C. (1970)

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Wilson is 35 degrees from Alicia Taylor, 32 degrees from Henry VIII of England and 45 degrees from Rembrandt van Rijn on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.