Bringing the Text to Life
Wilson Alwyn Bentley was flaky.
But not in a bad way.
He lived in Vermont and was fascinated by snow. He found a way to put snowflakes on black velvet and photograph them, testing the hypothesis that no two are exactly the same. He photographed and published more than 5,000 individual snowflakes, and today you can see his work at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Because of his obsession, Bentley was given a nickname — “Snowflake.”
No surprise there.
Bentley, who lived from 1865 to 1931, examined snowflakes under a microscope and discovered that they were all miracles of beauty. “Every crystal was a masterpiece of design, and no one design was ever repeated,” he wrote. “When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.”
Looking at Bentley’s “Snow Crystal Collection,” a writer named Morgan Meis found that he was especially fond of snowflake number 892. Roughly stellar in category, it’s a bit irregular: The top left arm...