Adams, Philip Francis (1828-1901)

Field of activity
Surveyor; Viticulturist; Astronomer
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1468155

Biographies

Philip Francis Adams (1828-1901), surveyor, viticulturist and astronomer, was born at Wamill Hall, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, England, son of Walter (?) Adams, of independent means, and his wife Laura,...

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

Philip Adams worked for the New South Wales (NSW) land surveyors department, and was Surveyor-general from 1868-1887. During this time, Adams initiated the department's shift to trigonometrical surveying in 1867 and took charge of it from 1870. He was also an avid wine grower, first establishing a successful vineyard in Ettamogah (1857c) and then again in 1888 after he retired. He gained a good reputation in the wine industry and spent much of his retirement attending conferences for wine-growers and fruit-growers, judging wine shows, and writing many articles on the subject. Adams was a keen amateur astronomer and was appointed one of the official observers of the transit of Venus in 1874 and 1882. Adams was heavily involved in local affairs, participating in the Public School Board and in many charities.

Born in England, Philip Adams moved to Ireland with his family where he was educated mainly at the Belfast Academical and Collegiate Institution. In 1848 he was appointed land surveyor and after three years emigrated to Canada and then the United States. He returned to Canada to try and make his fortunes on the goldfields, but was unsuccessful. He then moved to Sydney in 1854. Adams quickly gained employment as a district surveyor for the NSW government. He convinced them to give up on their time-consuming, haphazard surveying techniques and introduced trigonometrical surveying. This saw Philip Adams rise through the ranks and eventually be appointed Surveyor-general in 1868. During his reign, he introduced competitive examinations for surveyors and advised select committees. Adams retired in 1888 to pursue his love of wine-making, a job he did successfully and was highly respected in the industry.

  • Career position - Land Surveyor in Ireland
  • Career position - Surveyor in Canada and USA
  • Career position - Prospector (unsuccessful) in the California goldfields, USA
  • Life event - Migrated to Australia (Sydney)
  • Career position - District Surveyor in Maitland, New South Wales (NSW)
  • Career position - District Surveyor in the southern district of NSW
  • Life event - Married Harriet Burnet in Newcastle, NSW
  • Career position - Acting Deputy-Surveyor-General for NSW
  • Career position - Member of the Royal Society of New South Wales
  • Career position - Deputy Surveyor-General for NSW
  • Career position - Reported on the need to change the existing haphazard survey system to a trigonometrical survey system
  • Career position - Trigonometrical survey commenced
  • Career position - Surveyor-General for NSW
  • Career position - Manager of the trigonometric survey
  • Career position - Official Observer of the transit of Venus in Woodford, NSW
  • Career position - Official Observer of the transit of Venus at Lord Howe Island
  • Career position - Member of the New South Wales Commission for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition
  • Career position - Retired to establish a vineyard in Casula, NSW

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Resources for Philip Francis Adams

Selected resources (2)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Adams, Philip Francis
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. Adams, Philip Francis (1828-1901), surveyor, viticulturist and astronomer
    McIntyre, Joanna
    Published: Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969
    Series: Australian Dictionary of Biography, 3, 16

Resources about Philip Francis Adams (1)

  1. Mr Adams a very agreeable man / by Maud Crang
    Crang, Maud, 1915-
    [ Book : 2009 ]
    At State Library of NSW
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