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Bickerton, Alexander William



  • Existence: 1842 - 1929


Alexander Bickerton arrived in New Zealand in 1874 as the first Professor at Canterbury College, in the Chair of Chemistry. He was a brilliant teacher of chemistry and physics, respected and admired by Ernest Rutherford, his most famous pupil, but his unconventional behaviour and unorthodox ideas caused problems with the University authorities over the years. After 30 years the Board succeeded in sacking him, in 1903. He made and sold patent medicines, opened his home Wainoni as a pleasure garden, and wrote, mostly about astronomy. In 1910 he returned to England. He was made Professor Emeritus of Canterbury College in 1928, the year before his death.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Alexander William Bickerton papers

Identifier: Arch 0406
Scope and Contents

The papers of Alexander William Bickerton includes booklets written by Professor Bickerton, chiefly on astronomy, 1879-1923. Also correspondence, bibliographies and other papers (1960-1961) gathered by Mr. R.N. O'Reilly, Chief Librarian of Canterbury Public Library, for a planned bibliography of Bickerton's works. Included are two copies of Johannes Andersen's Bickerton bibliography (ca. 1930).

Dates: 1879-1961