Dr. A. Estelle Glancy and Dr. Edgar D. Tillyer at work on a calculation, at the American Optical Southbridge
- Dr. A. Estelle Glancy and Dr. Edgar D. Tillyer at work on a calculation, at the American Optical Southbridge
Dr. A. Estelle Glancy, mathematician shown working with Dr. Edgar D. Tillyer, Director of Research at the American Optical Company in Southbridge, where they are both seated at a desk. Books, ledgers, and files surround the scientists as they work on calculations. Dr. Glancy is wearing a dark dress with her hair swept up off her face. Dressed in a tweed suit with a vest, Tillyer's collar has rounded edges, popular at that time. He wears spectacles but with little frame showing. Anna Estelle Glancy (known as Estelle) was born in 1883. A 1905 graduate of Wellesley with an A.B. in mathematics, she received her Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley in astronomy in 1913. She began her career as an assistant astronomer with the Argentine National Observatory in Cordoba Argentina, returning to the United States at the beginning of World War I. She was a research scientist at American Optical in Southbridge, Massachusetts for over 30 years. As a mathematician she worked on numerous AO lens designs, and was responsible for performing the many complex mathematical calculations involved in ophthalmic optics. Her research work earned her 13 patents between 1929 and 1945. In 1946 she published a paper on "Practical Methods of Computing Finite Throw Schmidt Systems". She has, it is estimated, computed formulas from which over a million lenses have been made. In 1950 she was hailed as the only woman lens designer in the world. Dr. Glancy died in 1975 at the age of 91. The Evening News, Southbridge, Wednesday, May 21, 1975 carried the following obituary for Dr. Glancy: "Waltham – Dr. Anna Estelle Glancy, 91, internationally know lens designer and former research scientist with American Optical Co., died Monday night [May 19] in Waltham Hospital. She lived at 75 River St., and formerly resided in Southbridge, Sturbridge and Auburn. During her 33 years with American optical, Dr. Glancy designed lenses for eye glasses, microscopes, cameras and television. She was one of the world’s few lens designers. She retired from the company in 1951. Before joining American Optical Dr. Glancy taught at the University of California’s department of astronomy at Berkeley. During that time she also served as a fellow at the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, Calif. After receiving her doctor of philosophy degree at the University of California, she served for a time as an astronomer at the National Observatory in Cordoba, Argentina. After returning to this country in 1918, she joined American Optical, where she assisted in the development of the famous Tillyer lens and contributed data for the design of special lenses, lensometers and other instruments. She leaves two brothers, Robert C. Glancy of Broomall, Pa., and Warren E. Glancy of Waltham, with whom she made her home. She was born in Waltham, daughter of Robert E. and Anna B. (Piper) Glancy. She was graduated from Waltham High School in 1901. She received her bachelor of arts degree in mathematics at Wellesley College in 1905 and her doctorate in 1912. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday in the Frist (stet.) Unitarian Church, 90 Main St., Worcester, with the Rev. Wallace W. Robbins officiating. Burial will be in Feak Cemetery, Waltham. There are no calling hours. The family requests flowers be omitted and suggests contributions be made in her memory to the Worcester County Hearing & Speech Center, 525 Lincoln St., Worcester or to the First Unitarian Church, Worcester. Sessions Funeral Home, 71 Pleasant St., Worcester has charge of arrangements. Edgar D. Tillyer was an assistant astronomer in the Nautical Almanac Office from 1902 through 1911. He began his work at American Optical Company in Southbridge, Massachusetts in 1919. At AO, he worked closely with Dr. A. Estelle Glancy. He was the recipient of 157 patents including those for the Lensometer and the Tillyer lens. In 1953 he was awarded the Optical Society of American Medal of Honor. Dr. Tillyer was posthumously installed in the National Acadmeny of Opticianry Hall of Fame in 1992. The Optical Society of America has a medal named in honor of Dr. Tillyer. In Southbridge, Tillyer Ave., is also named in his honor.
- Jacob Edwards Library
- Collection (local):
Photographic Collection of the American Optical Company
Southbridge (Mass.)--Biography--Pictorial works
American Optical Company
Tillyer, Edgar D. (Edgar Derry), 1881-1973
Glancy, Anna Estelle 1883-1975
- 1 photograph
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Date from item or accompanying materials.
Is part of the American Optical photographic collection of the Jacob Edwards Library, Southbridge, Massachusetts. http://www.jacobedwardslibrary.org