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Wilson A. "Snowflake" Bentley was one of the first known photographers of snowflakes and one of the first cloud physicists.
Over his lifetime he photographed over 5,000 "tiny miracles of beauty" (snowflake crystals). His claim that no two snowflakes were alike gained public attention and imagination.
Bentley's publication "Snow Crystals" was a collaborative work between William J. Humphreys of the U.S. Weather Bureau. Snow Crystals was illustrated with 2,500 photographs. He also photographed ice and water formations and recorded raindrop sizes.
Bentley donated his collection of glass-plate photomicrographs of snow crystals to the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Many snowflake photos in Bentley's collection have been digitized and are available for viewing at the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collection of snowflake photographs. The largest collection of Wilson A. Bentley's works is in the Jericho Historical Society in Jerico Vermont, Bentley's home town. The snowflake image below is based upon a photograph taken by Bentley. Teachers may use the image to teach children about the history of snowflake exploration and to introduce snowflake science and snowflake illustration.