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Snowflake museum.

Wm. A. Bentley snowflakeWilliam Alwyn Bentley spent four decades around the turn of the century — the last century — photographing snowflakes. He worked in snowstorms, collecting flakes on a blackboard and then carefully transferring them to microscope slides with a splinter of wood, holding his breath while photographing so as not to melt the flake. Largely self-taught, Bentley is the one who first said that no two snowflakes are alike. His photographic plates are now owned by the Buffalo Museum of Science, which has put 154 of them online. Beautiful, sublime images–and surprisingly, many do not look like the classic “snowflake” pattern (aka “dendritic crystals” in Bentley’s language).

The Bentley Snow Crystal Collection


  1. Scot Hacker

    Heh… funny story. Amy was teaching a photo class last year and had a rather… flaky student. For one assignment they were supposed to do a presentation profiling a photographer. This flaky student comes up and shows a PowerPoint presentation. The first slide is a screenshot of a google result on the search “fun photographer.” Amy rolls her eyes. Now what?

    “My presentation is about snowflake man.” Amy’s like, “whaaat?”

    “I found snowflake man by googling for fun photographer.”

    She then goes on to do a great presentation on Bentley, once again exceeding everyone’s expectations of her.

  2. Simon Smith

    > around the turn of the century

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