Samuel Pierpont Langley, director of the Allegheny Observatory from 1867 to 1891.
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A man seated in a chair, wearing a suit.

Credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 15, Folder 8, 2002-12174

In 1867, Samuel Langley left his position as Chair of Mathematics at the United States Naval Academy to become director of the Allegheny Observatory and a professor of astronomy at Western University of Pennsylvania, There, Langley guided the observatory towards scientific study and began pathbreaking studies of flight. In 1891, Langley moved to Washington D.C. to serve full time as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

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