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What is Leslie Peltiers OBS ID?

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davidjayjackson's picture
What is Leslie Peltiers OBS ID?

What is Leslie Peltiers OBS ID?




weo's picture
Leslie Peltier's AAVSO observer code

Leslie Peltier's AAVSO Observer Initial (observer code) is P.  He was among the first AAVSO observers, and in those days observer initials were one or two letters.

Good observing,

Elizabeth Waagen, AAVSO HQ

davidjayjackson's picture
weo, Thats it just


Thats it just "P"?



weo's picture
Leslie's code is just the upper-case letter P

Yes, Leslie's code is just the upper-case letter P

Nothing else, just  P

Elizabeth  :)

lmk's picture
His last Obs

Out of curiosity I did a webobs search on "P" and found his last obs was in Mar 1986,,, ~six years after his death ;)

Also, apparently he made 3 observations on May 10, 1980, the day of his death from a heart attack. That's plausible.

Mike LMK


weo's picture
Leslie's last observations

There is obviously a typo in the database - either in the JD or in the observer initials; we'll check it out. Regarding the observations Leslie made on the night he was taken ill in May of 1980, yes, that's right. His neighbor and observing buddy and fellow AAVSOer Carolyn Hurless (HR) filled out his final monthly report and sent it to HQ so that not only would Leslie's last observations be added to the AAVSO database but his unbroken record of consecutive monthly reports (since ~1918!) would remain intact.


BRJ's picture
Leslie Peltier's OBS ID

Just as a bit of fun informational triva be advised that "P" was not the original observers' letter designation assigned to Leslie by Pickering or Leon Campbell in the early days of the AAVSO.

While indeed single observer ID letters had been given to most of the organization's earliest members it seems likely that by the time Leslie came along in 1918 double letters were already logically beginning assigned whenever there were two observers whose last name started with the same letter. Now I don't recall just who might have been the first "P", perhaps it was one of the Pickerings, but if you check the AAVSO's monthly observations listings that were published in the really old Popular Astronomy magazines of the 20's and 30's you'll find Leslie is listed as "Pt" if I recall correctly. Just when his lower case secondary letter was dropped from his designation and he became simply "P" I can't say, but it might well have been around the time when Leon retired and Margaret took over at HQ. 

J.Bortle   (BRJ) 

M.Saladyga's picture
More on single letter observer initials

In the AAVSO Archives, the earliest observer initials tracking sheets (undated, but probably 1918-1929 era) show that Peltier is indeed listed as "Pt".

But, in the sheets written in Leon Campbell's hand (1930s), Peltier now appears as "P". In fact, in two sets of the Campbell-era sheets, dated November 1935, Peltier is listed as "P", and "Pt" is crossed-out with the notation "(Peltier originally)". Headquarters reassigned "Pt" to someone named Peters at about this time, and that observer seems to have dropped out of the picture not long afterwards.

We can pin down this change of initials even more definitely. Many monthly observation sheets were marked upon arrival at Headquarters with the observer's initials in the lower right corner. Peltier's were marked "Pt" up to 1935, but then the marked initials change to "P" starting with the November 1935 monthly report.

I would like to think that the change might have coincided with the awarding of the AAVSO Merit Award to Peltier at the 1934 Annual Meeting, meant to be a fitting honor to go with the award, but that is not the case; at least about a dozen other observers' initials changed to a single letter at about the same time.

These changes coincide with the AAVSO ceasing to publish monthly reports in Popular Astronomy after the October 1935 report, and beginning publication in Harvard Annals instead. It seems reasonable that the initials changes were not made until November 1935 so as to not confuse the previous year's fiscal year observer totals tallies.

The question remains whether the change to a single letter for the 12 or so observers was for administrative/typographical convenience, or was it meant to recognize an observer's accomplishments? A few of these single letter observers appear in Campbell's "Roll of Honor" of productive observers which he published in Variable Comments in October 1946.

The honorific theory might just be true. Consider that AAVSO Charter Member Anne S. Young had observer initial "Y" from the beginning (1912); but her "Y" was changed to "YAS", and J. E. G. Yalden (also an early member) had his "Ya" changed to "Y" at some unknown date, possibly after he died in 1937, since Anne Young still appears as "Y" in Campbell's November 1935 sheets, and "Ya" is given to observer Yamasaki!

A similar case occurs with Charles McAteer--"M" since 1912, but changed to "MAC", presumably when observer Franklin F. Marsh was changed from "Ma" to "M" in 1937.

Much later, Margaret Mayall did do an extensive overhaul of observer initials when early use of punch cards and computers made it necessary to have observer initials all in capital letters.

This started out as a simple two paragraph response, but I'm in with both feet now. So, here is a list of single letter observer initials and the dates if found them to have changed (there are probably others, but my investigations centered on the 1935 list).

Armfield: changed from "Ar" to "A" November 1935

Bouton: originally "B" (since 1912)

Campbell: originally "C" beginning 1933

Doolittle: originally "D" ? no other information

Forsyth: originally "F" since 1912, changed to "FRY" as some date

Gray: originally "G" since 1912, changed to "GRY" at some date

Hartmann: changed from "Hf" to "H" November 1935

Iedema: "I" on November 1935 list

Ingles: "I" no other information

Jacobs: originally "J" since 1912, changed to "JB" at some date

Jones, Eugene: changed from "Jo" to "J" November 1935

Kanda: changed from "Kd" to "K" November 1935

Lacchini: originally "L" since 1912, but many paper reports have "Le" or "Lo" changed to "L" November 1935, but he always appears in Pop. Ast. lists as "L"

Marsh: "Ma" changed to "M" May 1937

McAteer: originally "M" changed to "MAC" at some later date

Olcott: originally "O" since 1912, unchanged

Peltier: "Pt" changed to "P" November 1935

Raphael: "Ra" changed to "R" November 1935

Smith, F. W.: "Sf" changed to "S" November 1935

Swartz: originally "S" since 1912, changed to "SHM" probably November 1935 when F. W. Smith was assigned "S"

Vrooman: originally "V" since 1912, unchanged

Webb: "Wa" changed to "W" November 1935

Yalden: "Ya" changed to "Y" about 1937 at time of his death?

Young, A. S.: originally "Y" since 1912, changed to "YAS" possibly after 1937


davidjayjackson's picture
Talk about dedication :)

Talk about dedication :)

BRJ's picture
Mike - Not being one

Mike - Not being one who visits these forums all that often, I only this morning spotted your follow-up to my response concerning Leslie's original AAVSO letter designation. Your post certainly took the subject far beyond my limited knowledge of it as a whole and made for some very interesting reading.

I note that these reassignments seem to have followed very little rhyme, or reason. I was particularly surprised by Charlie McAteer's designation change from "M" to "MAC" in light of the fact that the "M" was then assigned to a member of seeming much lesser significance in the group. I say this because Charlie was one of my favorites for personal reasons among the earliest members in AAVSO's history. I truly makes me wonder if there had even been any logic at all to Leon's late 30's letter shuffling?

J.Bortle   (BRJ)



M.Saladyga's picture
Hi John--The only other

Hi John--The only other reason I can think of that Campble changed so many observer initials to single-letter initials in such a seemingly random way might be simply to make it easy for him to remember a current observer's initials. Could be that if a single letter observer died or retired ("M" or "Y") he felt free to reassign those to a currently active observer. But that's just a guess.

In a couple of cases I tried to find a letter in the correspondence where Campbell explicitly says, "I have changed your initals from 'Xx' to 'X'", but have had no such luck.



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