June 17, 2024

Leslie Peltier

The historical marker in front of the Delphos Public Library states: ” A farm boy with a tenth grade education, Leslie Peltier, born near Delphos in 1900, achieved fame as one of the most famous astronomers of the twentieth century. In 1916, he raised $18 dollars by picking 900 quarts of strawberries on his father’s farm in order to purchase his first telescope. His stargazing abilities led Harvard Observatory’s Dr. Harlow Shapley to proclaim him “the world’s greatest non-professional astronomer.” During his 65 years of stargazing, Leslie Peltier discovered 12 comets and two novae and made 132,000 variable star observations. Peltier made his discoveries on his homemade “merry-go-round” observatory that rotated on a child’s merry-go-round track and housed the optics from a 6-inch, f/8 telescope on loan from Princeton University. To recognize his achievements, the Astronomical League created the annual Leslie C. Peltier Award in 1980 to recognize an amateur astronomer who contributed to astronomy observations of lasting significance.”