Tobias Mayer

1723 (Marbach, Germany) – 1762 (Göttingen)

Mayer is known for lunar observation, particularly in relation to navigation; he also drew superb lunar maps. Mayer wrote to Euler (who had already heard of the young man) about astronomical refraction and lunar theory; they corresponded for four years, and Euler helped him to a professorship. Lacaille and Mayer wrote to each other particularly about the 1761 Passage of Venus, each arguing that the other’s instrument was less accurate than his own (Mayer was right, though Lacaille wasn’t to know it). Lambert, interested like Mayer in colour perception, visited him in Göttingen, and extended his work.

Peter Anich

1723 (Oberperfuss, Austria) – 1766 (Oberperfuss)

Anich, the so-called ‘peasant cartographer’, drew outstanding maps, as well as building astronomical instruments, sundials and globes. He worked on his father’s farm till age 28, then went to study mathematics, physics and astronomy with Ignaz von Weinhart in Innsbruck. While Weinhart supervised production of Anich and Hueber’s famous ‘Atlas Tyrolensis’, Anich — like his assistant and successor Hueber, another farmer’s son from the same village — was in m ways self-taught in surveying and cartography.

Peter Anich knew…

James Cook

1728 (Marton, England) – 1779 (Kealakekua, Hawaii)

Cook was an established explorer-cartographer — some of his astonishing charts were used until the mid-20thC — and had presented an astronomical paper to the Royal Society, before he led three famous voyages of scientific exploration. Banks (paying his own way) and Solander were naturalists on Cook’s first voyage, the Forsters taking their place on the second after Cook baulked at Banks’s demands; unfortunately, the elder Forster and Cook quickly became disenchanted with one another. Maskelyne supported and corresponded with Cook. Boswell met him at Pringle’s, and “felt a strong inclination to go with him on his next voyage.”

Hermann Berghaus

1828 (Herford, Germany) – 1890 (Gotha)

Heinrich Berghaus was his uncle; they worked closely together as colleagues, making many significant contributions and improvements to cartography. Heinrich Berghaus’s ‘Physical Atlas’, which Hermann collaborated on and re-editioned following his uncle’s death, exhaustively summarised all known physical facts about the world at the time, focusing on geology, vulcanology, meteorology, hydrography, botany and communications, among other things. Their world atlas of diseases was also a seminal publication, a landmark in medical cartography. Hermann’s 5-pointed star projection of the world was widely adopted.

Hermann Berghaus knew…

William Maclure

1763 (Ayr, Scotland) – 1840 (San Angel, Mexico)

Silliman was Maclure’s colleague and published much of his geological research. Maclure had visited Pestalozzi, whose ideas he admired, in Switzerland, but failed to persuade him to move to the U.S; Neef, who had worked with Pestalozzi, was enticed to emigrate. Maclure visited Owen at New Lanark; the experimental community at New Harmony was inspired by Owen, although he and Maclure argued over the practical application of utopian philosophies. Say, who had accompanied Maclure on a previous geological expedition, joined in this failed attempt at an ideal community, as did Lesueur and Neef

Heinrich Berghaus

1797 (Kleve, Germany) – 1884 (Stettin, Germany, now Szczecin, Poland)

Berghaus and the explorer/scientist Humboldt drew extensively on each other’s pioneering expertise; for example the graphic representation of isotherms reflects Humboldt’s researches and Berghaus’ exceptional cartographic enterprise (his astonishing thematic maps can be regarded as pure scientific knowledge). Hermann Berghaus was Berghaus’ nephew and professional colleague.

Blasius Hueber

Blasius Hüber

1735 (Oberperfuss, Austria) – 1814 (Innsbruck)

Hueber worked as assistant to Anich, mapping the northern Tyrol, taking over after Anich’s death. Both Hueber and Anich, farmers’ sons from the same village outside Innsbruck and in many ways self-taught, were as mature men taught mathematics, physics, astronomy and the principles of surveying by Ignaz von Weinhart, a Jesuit scholar in Innsbruck. The 9-year-old Koch also helped Hueber survey the countryside.

Blasius Hueber knew…