Born February 9, 1865, Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley perfected a process of catching snowflakes on black velvet in a manner allowing for their images to be captured before they melted or sublimated.
His first snowflake was photographed in January of 1885 using a bellows camera attached to a compound microscope and he would go on to capture more than 5000 images in his lifetime.
His ongoing study of the “tiny miracles of beauty” and “ice flowers” would later help him present the “no two alike” theory and get him exposure in such publications as National Geographic and Scientific American among others. He additionally photographed other forms of ice and natural water formations including clouds and fog and is known as one of the first cloud physicists.
Remaining dedicated to his lifelong interests to the end, on December 23, 1931, Snowflake Bentley died of pneumonia after a six mile hike through a blizzard.