First-Hand Observations of the Charleston Earthquake of August 31, 1886, and Other Earthquake Materials



Kenneth E. Peters (University of South Carolina, Columbia) and Robert B. Herrmann (St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.) have compiled a fascinating portfolio of reports of the great Charleston earthquake of 1886. Hermann discovered a number of these heretofore unknown materials in a box at St. Louis University. They were probably brought there from Washington, D.C. by the Reverend James B. Macelwane, who founded the first university geophysics department in the United States at St. Louis University in 1925. (AGU members may be interested to note that Macelwane published reports frequently in Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity, the predecessor of the Journal of Geophysical Research.) Peters worked with Hermann on compiling the materials, discovering other pertinent photographs, and writing historical sketches of the major persons involved.