John Milne, British seismologist and geologist, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
John Milne (1850-1913) was a profesor at the Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo, Japan, and is regarded as the founding father of seismology. In 1876 Milne travelled to Japan to study seismology, and experienced an earthquake on the evening of his arrival. The earthquake that struck Japan in 1891 was studied using modern seismological instruments and techniques that had been developed by Milne and his colleagues over the previous fifteen years. Many of his lantern slides recordings are held in the Science Museum collections, as are his library and instruments. He designed various different seismographs including a double boom seismograph which enabled two traces to be recorded on the same piece of paper.