Snowflake Bentley

This weekend was the Christmas open house at the Chapman Museum where I do my volunteer work.  Each year there is a different theme for the holidays. This year was featuring Snowflake Bentley, who was the first person to photograph snowflakes through a microscope. It seems appropriate for this post considering all the snow falling across the US.

Bentley lived in Vermont, actually with his mother for his entire life.  He would go outside with a black tray to catch snowflakes. Then he took them to his microscope station in an outbuilding (no heat, obviously) where he would photograph them through the microscope.

This was from a Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1922.  He photographed over 2000 snowflakes and did lectures about them and the technique for photographing through a microscope, as well as publishing a book. Every snowflake has six points and over the years, Bentley never found two alike.

Anyway, here are a few more pictures of the deLong house (part of the museum).  This is the parlor:

Do you see the difference between the two chairs? The one on the right with arms is a man’s chair and the one without arms is for a woman. The reason being a woman needed room for her skirts.

And the couch that I covet there (although I would like a different fabric on it)

The library:

We had a couple of snowflake making sessions to get ready for the season:

These were used in various places, the majority on the tree:

There was live music:

Refreshments that look like snowflakes:

These were found at Aldi’s, by the way. They are really tasty. I need to go find them LOL.

Quite a few people came through, which was great. It was free to attend and view the museum. There were more people than I’ve ever seen in the year that I’ve been there.  It’s good to be a tourist in your own city sometimes.

Here are a couple more photos of snowflakes:


These are the actual photos taken through the microscope. He never copyrighted any of his photos, so they are all public domain. It really is amazing the difference in all the flakes. Something that you never really think about when it is coming down and accumulating. We are going to get our own share of snow on Tuesday and it sounds like it might be a decent snowfall. Not sure I will be photographing each flake, though!

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9 thoughts on “Snowflake Bentley

  1. Debby

    Wow, the snowflake pictures are amazing. I always heard that each one was different, but it’s really neat to see pictures of the actual flakes. No snow out here so far? Hope it stays that way! I’ve still got bulbs to plant!
    Debby´s last blog post ..Sixty-Three

  2. Helen

    The snowflakes are so pretty! Almost makes me not mind snow. Almost, but not quite. Haha. What a lovely idea for the museum to dedicate their open house to Mr. Bentley.

  3. Karen

    Lori –

    Thank you for sharing! The snowflakes are beautiful. We got snow in Buffalo yesterday & are due for more tonight and tomorrow.

  4. Christina

    Nice to have you back! Your tree is very pretty. I have never heard of the Instant Pot I may need to look into that, also I enjoyed the snowflake post.

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