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    Hermann Goldschmidt

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    June 17, 1802 – August 30, 1866

    Before we discuss Hermann Goldschmidt, we need to discuss powdered wigs. That's right, powdered wigs. Seriously, what's the deal?

    We get it: hair loss is a thing. Baldness is not exactly considered beautiful. You want to cover it up. But why cover it up... with that? Wear a hat or something! (Not that modern wig alternatives are any better. Just accept your baldness! Moving on...)

    Anyway, the powder-wig-wearing Hermann Goldschmidt started out as a painter, but later became an astronomer. He is mostly noted for his discovery of asteroids. Using a telescope from his sixth story Paris balcony, Goldschmidt discovered 14, a world record at the time, and gave them female names: Daphne, Eugenia, Alexandra, Doris... No, seriously, there is an asteroid named Doris! You can't make this up.

    In any case, Goldschmidt came from a Jewish family that converted out, so we wouldn't exactly call him a Jew. (Heck, one of his better-known works from his time as a painter was a loving rendition of one Jesus Christ.) Still, a somewhat Jewy 19th century astronomer who named an asteroid Doris and wore powdered wigs.

    That's the deal...

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    January 1, 2021

    See Also

    Tycho Brahe

    William Herschel

    David Rabinowitz

    Bettina de Rothschild

    Sy Sperling
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.