Wilson Bentley Snowflakes

"The Snowflake Man" (a short film about Snowflake Bentley)

A short documentary about Snowflake Bentley - Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931), the first man to ever photograph a snowflake.

Snowflake Bentley

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty.

Wilson Bentley Snow Flakes slide show

People didn't know how unique and beautiful snow flakes could be until Wilson B. took these amazing pictures and followed his dreams.

Wilson Bentley The Snowflake Man

com Step back in time to learn about the man who taught us that "no two snowflakes are alike.

Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley Snowflakes in Motion "Trailer"

Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley Snowflakes in Motion "Trailer" for full length 1 hour video documentary with original soundtrack and music by The Samples.

snowflake bentley.wmv

Snowflake Bentley

Video of Snowflake images taken by Wilson Bentley.

Masters of Photography - Wilson 'Snowflake' Bentley


Snowflake Bentley Read Aloud

The First Photographs of Snowflakes - Hyperallergic

The mysteries of the upper air are about to reveal themselves, if our hands are deft and our eyes quick enough. Quick, the first flakes are coming. Source: hyperallergic.com

The man who uncovered the secret lives of snowflakes - The ... - Washington Post

I tried to catch some on my jacket sleeve, holding my arm close to my face to examine the delicate crystal structures, but had little success. At the time, cameras capable of photographing microscopic objects were just being developed, and none were available to a boy in rural Vermont. The best flakes were lifted with a feather onto a glass slide, and placed beneath the microscope's objective. “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. [ The bones in the Smithsonian's 'whale warehouse' are relics of a lost world ]. While we talked, Sturm — who had called me from a cabin in New Mexico — noted that flakes were starting to fall outside his window. It was she who gave him his first microscope when he was 15. The teenager used his new instrument to examine every small thing he could find — pebbles, raindrops, bits of feather, flower petals. First, he removed the eyepiece from his microscope and connected it to a long bellows camera, then placed a black card over the lens of the instrument in lieu of a camera shutter. Scientists weren't just people who loved, observed and attempted to understand the world — they were people with advanced degrees and research positions at prestigious institutions. “The day that I developed the first negative made by this method, and found it good, I felt almost like falling to my knees beside that apparatus,” he told the American Magazine in 1925. “It was the greatest moment of my life. In the 1930s, Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya began growing the first synthetic snow crystals in his lab. His photographs gave way to research on the atomic structure of water, the intricacies of weather and the conditions that affect how crystals grow. He is considered a pioneer in the field of photomicrography (taking images of objects under a microscope) and helped spark scientific interest in understanding the crystal structure of snow. He is credited with discovering that, at least in nature, no two snowflakes are exactly alike. To give his images their distinctive black background, Wilson then scraped some of the light-sensitive pigments off the negative, hewing to the outline of the crystal. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others,” Bentley would later tell an interviewer. “Snowflakes opened that molecular world at a macroscopic level. Born in 1865 in the village of Jericho, Vt. , Bentley was raised to be a dairy farmer like his father. By 1904, Bentley decided his growing collection ought to be stored somewhere safer than his wooden farmhouse. It sounded like something Bentley would say. Admirers began to call him “the Snowflake Man. Bentley had never gone to college, and despite his devotion to photomicrography, he still earned his living as a dairy farmer. “Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty. The “Snowflake Man” never tried to make money from his photographs, though he spent thousands of dollars producing them. That legacy extends from Libbrecht's lab to Nakaya to Bentley all the way back to the German astronomer Johannes Kepler. Though Merrill underestimated the scientific value of the photographs, Bentley sensed that they revealed something important. “You know,” he said, “if we made these snowflakes out of cut crystal they'd be worth a fortune. “Snow Crystals” published in November 1931, but Bentley didn't get to enjoy much of the acclaim. But Bentley's photographs, which are stored in a locked, climate-controlled room at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, are as breathtaking as the day he took them more than a century ago. that's something that we're still trying to get a handle on,” said Kenneth Libbrecht , whom some call “the modern-day Bentley. In 1610, while caught in a snowstorm in Prague, Kepler became the first person to muse that snowflakes' hexagonal form must be a result of the stacking of frozen “globules” that were “the smallest natural unit of a liquid like water. Each glass plate contains a single, perfect snowflake that was caught outdoors in subzero weather, magnified under a microscope, photographed and traced by hand to reveal every detail of its filigreed form. Libbrecht, who is chairman of the physics department at Cal Tech, began studying snowflakes in an effort to understand how molecules organize themselves into complex crystal structures — a major mystery in material science. University of Alaska at Fairbanks geophysicist Matthew Sturm , a friend of Libbrecht's and a fellow snow researcher, noted that snowflakes have a long legacy of helping scientists understand the world at the tiniest level. Bentley saw snowflakes, in all their complexity and diversity. The first snow of the season fell on the day I visited Wilson Bentley's photography collection. Using a blackboard with wire handles, Bentley would catch several snowflakes, which he examined with a handheld magnifying glass. “Snowflakes really led the way into people beginning to feel that there must be these elemental things, molecules and atoms, but the only time they really manifest themselves is when we see a really beautiful crystal in solid,” Sturm said. Nakaya's experiments confirmed what Bentley had speculated: The shape of a snowflake is controlled by the temperature and humidity of the air in which it crystallized. What's more, snowflakes' symmetric shapes hint at the behavior of the water molecules they're made of. They come in hexagonal plates and six-pointed stars because water molecules form tetrahedrons, which always stack up into six-sided structures. Over the following decades, Bentley amassed a collection of some 5,000 snowflake photographs and published several dozen journal articles on snow, ice and weather, earning a reputation as a formidable citizen scientist. In 1902, he described in the Monthly Weather Review his hunch that the crystal structures of snowflakes reflect the conditions under which they formed: “These interior details reveal more or less completely the preexisting forms that the crystals... If Bentley wanted a tool for taking photos through a microscope, he would need to invent it. It took two years of trial and error to develop a method that worked, which Bentley explained in a 1922 article in the magazine Popular Mechanics. Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Bentley's special snowflakes - Washington Post

Snowmen, sledding and snow days are a few of the reasons that children love snow. Thank you, Wilson Bentley. I am grateful that Wilson Bentley shared his sense of wonder with others. The children’s book “Snowflake Bentley,” written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian, tells Bentley’s story. Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Latest News

  • The First Photographs of Snowflakes

    12/02/16 ,via Hyperallergic

    It was in this season of cold that Wilson Bentley, a farmer in Jericho, Vermont, attempted to capture the fleeting geometry of the snowflake with his DIY contraption of a microscope combined with a bellows camera. In 1885, at the age of 19, he became

  • The man who uncovered the secret lives of snowflakes - The ...

    01/11/17 ,via Washington Post

    The first snow of the season fell on the day I visited Wilson Bentley's photography collection. It was just a dusting, the flakes so tiny and sparse I could barely 

  • Bentley's special snowflakes

    01/28/17 ,via Washington Post

    The children's book “Snowflake Bentley,” written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian, tells Bentley's story. Snowmen, sledding and snow days are a few of the reasons that children love snow. The illustrations in this book add

  • The Photographer Who Discovered that No Two Snowflakes Are Alike

    01/13/17 ,via Artsy

    Though they're roughly a century old, Wilson Bentley's close-up photographs of snowflakes, taken with the help of a microscope, are as mesmerizing today as when they were first published around the turn of the century. Some of the snowflakes have

  • William Bentley's photographs of snowflakes | Idaho Statesman

    01/21/17 ,via Idaho Statesman

    The first snow of the season fell on the day I visited Wilson Bentley's photography collection. It was just a dusting, the flakes so tiny and sparse I could barely 


  • Snowflake Bentley

    Perfection Learning. 2009. ISBN: 1606867156,9781606867150. 30 pages.

    From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. Full color.

  • Snow Crystals

    Courier Corporation. 1962. ISBN: 9780486202877,0486202879. 226 pages.

    Offers numerous photographs of snowflakes and dewdrops with descriptions of their characteristics and methods of photography

  • My Brother Loved Snowflakes

    2017. ISBN: 1563976897,9781563976896. 32 pages.

    Vibrant pastel illustrations capture the story of Wilson A. Bentley, a self-educated scientist who dedicated his life to the study of snow, proving to the world that no two snowflakes are alike.

  • The Snowflake Man

    McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company. 1998. ISBN: 0939923718,9780939923717. 237 pages.

    This is a biography of Wilson Alwyn Bentley, the farmer from Jericho, Vermont, who took over five thousand photomicrographs of ice, dew, frost, and -- especially -- snow crystals. Although his photographs were taken between 1885 and 1931, they have never been equalled and are in great demand today. Bentley's story is one of courage and persistence against tremendous odds. He taught himself how to photograph snow crystals through a microscope while still in his teens and then pursued his...

  • Snowflakes in Photographs

    Courier Corporation. 2017. ISBN: 0486412539,9780486412535. 72 pages.

    Remarkable revelations of nature's diversity, revealed in hundreds of snowflake images taken by American photographer Bentley during a 50-year period. Over 850 illustrations of snow crystals, with no two designs exactly alike, will inspire artists, designers, and craftspeople in search of extraordinary patterns for textiles, wallpaper, and other creative projects.

snowflake bentleysnowflake
Happy Holidays
An example of one way to use one the snowflake brushes made from the photos of Wilson A. Bentley.
Photo by Muffet on Flickr
snowflake bentleysnowflake
four snowflakes
The Smithsonian site on Flickr commons recently featured snowflake images by Wilson A. "Snowflake" Bentley, one of my heroes. This Vermonter spent years trying to figure out how to photograph individual...
Photo by Muffet on Flickr
snowflake noaa
Image 759 of "Studies among the Snow Crystals ... " by Wilson Bentley, "The Snowflake Man." From Annual Summary of the "Monthly Weather Review" for 1902. Bentley was a bachelor farmer...
Photo by NOAA Photo Library on Flickr


Wilson Bentley Snowflakes - Snowflake Bentley Biography

The Jericho Historical Society, Jericho Vermont, Home of Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley

In 1885 Wilson Bentley Took the First Ever Photographs of ...

In 1885 Wilson Bentley Took the First Ever Photographs of Snowflakes (23 Photos)

Snowflake" Bentley - Bentley, Wilson (1865-1931)

The Jericho Historical Society, Jericho Vermont, Home of Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley

Wilson A. Bentley: The Man Who Photographed Snowflakes ...

How do you photograph a snowflake? It’s an easy enough question, but one that throws up a host of problems. For one, how do you capture one single snowflake ...

Vermont Snowflakes-" Snowflake" Bentley Collection prints ...

Vermont Snowflakes is exclusively authorized by the Jericho Historical Society to design and distribute the official