Ambronn, Leopold Friedrich Anton (1854 - 1930)
Leopold F. A. Ambronn was born October 27, 1854 in Meiningen, Germany, as the son of Richard Ambronn (1816-64) and his wife Wilhelmine, nee Amthor (1827-93). In Meiningen he went to school and college. After studying astronomy in Leipzig, Vienna and Strasbourg he started working for the oceanographic observatory in Hamburg on November 1,  1880. The first years he was assigned to the Hamburg Observatory, where the department for testing of chronometers was located. Head of the department was George Ruemker who was also director of the Observatory. Later Ambronn worked with Capt. Koldewey testing nautical instruments. In the years 1882-83 he went on a polar expedition.

On January 31, 1889 Ambronn changed for Göttingen where he was observer with Professor Schur. Together they worked on the diameter of the sun; Ambronn measured the relative positions of the members of the Plejades. Within ten years he finished and published a two volume book on astronomical instruments, the still valuable and much sought after 'Handbuch der astronomischen Instrumentenkunde' (1899). During the work on this book Ambronn kept contact with instrument makers all over the world. Also important is his catalogue of stars to magnitude 6.5 (1907).

He started teaching in Göttingen in 1892 as private lecturer and was appointed associate Professor on May 24, 1902. In 1905 the 'Göttinger Mechanikerschule' was founded, a school that trained precision mechanics and instrument makers. There Ambronn taught beside his engagement at the University. This, of course, led to a perfect collection of instruments that Ambronn and his students could use during the courses on astronomy.

In respect of his work on astronomical instruments he was appointed co-publisher in 1908 for the periodical 'Zeitschrift fuer Instrumentenkunde'.

Between 1906 and 1918 Ambronn was member of the town council, representing the University of Göttingen.

L.F.A. Ambronn was married twice, first to Johanna Nollenberger (picture, 85 kB) and then to Elise Diehler. He had one son and one daughter (picture, 199 kB). Ambronn died June 8, 1930 in Göttingen.

Ambronn's brother Hermann (1856-1927) worked with the Zeiss optical workshop in Jena, mainly on microscopes.

Schwassmann, A., in: AN239 (1930), p. 94-95
Zinner, E., in: NDB, Vol. 1, p. 242-43
Pictures: Coutesy of Mrs K. Nollenberger, USA

Not available or not referenced:
Zeitschrift f. Instrumentenkunde (1931), p. 373 f.

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