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Charles Todd in later life
Title : Charles Todd in later life Charles Todd in later life
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Source : B 69996/21
Date of creation : ca. 1894
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Photograph of Sir Charles Todd in later life.

A photograph from a collection of images compiled by Stephen Gillam-Smith of Sir Charles Todd and the Todd family, the Bell family (Alice Todd was a Bell), and other associated lines such as Masters, Bragg, etc.

Sir Charles Heavitree Todd, KCMG, (1826-1910) was one of Australia's most notable public servants for over fifty years. Born on 7 July 1826 in London, England, he died on 29 January 1910 at Semaphore, South Australia.

In England he served as an Astronomical Computer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich from 1841-47, Assistant Astronomer at Cambridge Observatory from 1847-54 and Assistant at Greenwich from 1854-55.

He arrived in South Australia with his wife Alice in November 1855 to take up the position of Superintendent of Telegraphs, Government Astronomical Observer and Meteorologist. In this role he oversaw the completion of telegraph links to Victoria and New South Wales by 1858 and played a vital role in the building of the Overland Telegraph between Adelaide and Darwin. He ensured that his telegraph operators recorded and sent meteorological observations as part of an extensive weather observation network throughout South Australia, the Northern Territory, and part of Western Australia. He later became Postmaster-General of South Australia.

Charles Todd was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1869 and continued to play a major part in scientific life in South Australia until his death at 84. As well as his professional roles as Astronomical Observer, Superintendent of Telegraphs, 1855-1870 and Postmaster General of South Australia from 1870-1906, he was also President of the Royal Society of South Australia from 1882-83 and President of the Astronomical Society of South Australia from 1892-1910. He was awarded a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1872 and a Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1893.

Related names :


Coverage year : circa 1894
Period : 1884-1913
Place : Adelaide, South Australia
Region : Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :

Australian Post Office, The centenary of the Adelaide-Darwin overland telegraph line : papers presented to a symposium Sydney : Australian Post Office, 1972

Crilly, Kath, 'Charles Todd: astronomer, meteorologist, electrical engineer, PMG', Geonews, vol. 3, no. 3 (July/August 1995), p.4-6

The Observer newspaper, 5 February 1910, p 33, 41, Obituary of Sir Charles Todd, Superintendent of Telegraphs; Government Astronomer; Postmaster-General

South Australia, Electric Telegraph Dept. Office of Superintendent, Overland telegraph : Port Augusta to Port Darwin : instructions to overseers in charge of works, / [by Charles Todd, Superintendent of Telegraphs], Adelaide 1870

Personal papers of Charles Todd (PRG 630)

Internet links :

Australian dictionary of biography online edition Sir Charles Todd (1826-1910)

SA Memory, Foundation of South Australia, 1800-1851 Charles Todd, portrait as a young man

SA Memory, Todd, Charles, 1826-1910



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