One of the "knitting jobs" (as Dorrit Hoffleit used to call "spare time" tasks) I have taken on is to update and upgrade the page of meeting group photos. I'm rescanning some of the photos for better quality, adding missing items, and adding identification keys wherever possible. Some of the 1920s photos were published with keys in Popular Astronomy, and many of the photos made in the 1980s and 1990s were routinely distributed with keys, but many other years need closer attention, and I will be adding these from time to time, as time allows.

It is always interesting and fascinating to put faces to names and names to faces of the AAVSO's members; and there are even some interesting non-AAVSO people in the meeting photos (Ejnar Hertzsprung, for example--see if you can spot him).

It is also fascinating to see who were the top observers of the day attending meetings; and who attended meetings regularly, but were not necessarily prolific observers, or observers at all; and who were "surprise attendees" who were known entities, but who were rarely seen (Leslie Peltier, for example). Looking at the early photos along with the corresponding meeting report published in Variable Comments makes for an interesting study in character(s).

This knitting-job inspires a much-needed supplement to the lists of top observers published in Advancing Variable Star Astronomy. Those published lists covered the AAVSO's entire 100-year span, but they do not do justice to the early observers--so many of the names truly worthy of recognition are missing.

So, here follows a listing of the top observers (> 10,000 observations) of the AAVSO's first fifty years (< November 1961). Some observers listed below continued observing after the first 50 years of the AAVSO so their lifetime totals are higher than the numbers shown here. (The totals given are from the time of archival data entry, and may have since been slightly adjusted for errors, duplicates, omissions, etc.). Click on the observer's name to see a photo.

DK 120830 Reginald P. De Kock South Africa 1934 Mar 1961 Oct
FE 105431 Cyrus F. Fernald Maine 1937 May 1961 Oct
P 98050 Leslie C. Peltier Ohio 1918 Mar 1961 Oct
H 54555 Ferdinand Hartmann New York 1932 Mar 1961 Oct
L 54081 Giovanni B. Lacchini Italy 1911 Oct 1961 Oct
OV 52853 Edward G. Oravec New York 1942 Mar 1961 Oct
CH 49712 Radha G. Chandra India 1919 Nov 1954 Apr
J 44756 Eugene H. Jones Massachusetts 1923 Nov 1943 Oct
AH 37089 Paul Ahnert Germany 1928 Apr 1961 Oct
BL 36844 James M. Baldwin Australia 1911 Feb 1940 Oct
RB 30800 David W. Rosebrugh Connecticut 1933 Mar 1961 Oct
CR 27637 Thomas A. Cragg California 1944 Dec 1961 Sep
HT 26100 H. E. Houghton South Africa 1924 Jul 1942 May
B 24884 Tilton C. H. Bouton Florida 1912 Jan 1947 Jan
AD 22444 Robert M. Adams Missouri 1949 Apr 1961 Oct
LT 22396 Eppe Loreta Italy 1927 Oct 1940 Sep
AC 22182 Curtis E. Anderson Minnesota 1951 Sep 1961 Oct
ME 19879 Joseph W. Meek New Mexico 1930 Jul 1953 Feb
RCJ 19320 Carl J. Renner Michigan 1943 Jul 1961 Oct
FD 18935 Clinton B. Ford Michigan 1927 Sep 1961 Oct
ELD 18386 Demetrius P. Elias Greece 1944 Aug 1956 Apr
CC 18113 Constantin Chassapis Greece 1936 Sep 1957 Aug
TB 17963 Domingo Taboada Roldan Mexico 1944 Dec 1961 Oct
HO 17428 William L. Holt Maine 1933 Nov 1946 Sep
EN 16807 G. E. Ensor South Africa 1926 Mar 1940 May
CY 15804 Morgan Cilley West Virginia 1923 Aug 1950 Jun
BAN 13831 Harry C. Bancroft, Jr. New Jersey 1912 Jun 1930 Aug
MAC 12267 Charles Y. McAteer Pennsylvania 1912 May 1924 Sep
HU 11976 Walter Scott Houston Kansas 1931 Oct 1961 Aug
BC 11013 Ralph N. Buckstaff Wisconsin 1929 Jul 1961 Oct
CS 10673 A. W. J. Cousins South Africa 1920 Jan 1947 Feb
KR 10010 Winifred C. Kearons Massachusetts 1928 Aug 1950 Nov