Do you remember hearing the phrase “no two snowflakes are alike”?
This is a true fact and not just a saying. The discovery was actually made in the small rural town of Jericho, Vermont by Wilson A. Bentley. Bentley was always fascinated with snow and was stunned by their beauty when at age fifteen he was given a microscope by his mother.
Bentley, a farmer educated at home, attracted world attention with his pioneering work in the area of photomicrography, most notably his extensive work with snow crystals, commonly known as snowflakes. By adapting a microscope to a bellows camera, and years of trial and error, he became the first to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885.
Bentley would go on to capture thousands of snowflakes during his lifetime, not finding any two alike. His snow crystal photomicrographs were acquired by colleges and universities throughout the world. He published numerous articles for magazines and journals including, Scientific American and National Geographic. At the age of sixty-six, a book of his work was published, which brought the beauty of snow to people throughout the world.
On December 23, 1931, Bentley died at the family farmhouse in Jericho. Because of his wonderful work with snow crystals, he became affectionately known as “Snowflake” Bentley and was known as the world’s expert on snowflakes.