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Click the tartan to view its entry in The Scottish Registers of Tartans which includes registration details, restrictions, and registrant information.


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Snowflake Day

“Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated."

~ Wilson Bentley, 1925, from his report, leading to the adage that "No two snowflakes are alike."

This icy blue and snowy white tartan is reminiscent of both a heavy snowfall and the beautiful crystalline structure of an individual snowflake! Snowflake Day is named for the birthday Wilson Alwyn "Snowflake" Bentley, one of the first known photographers of snowflakes and from whose study of snowflakes led to the adage "No two snowflakes are alike." Bentley perfected a process of catching flakes on black velvet in such a way that their images could be captured before they either melted or evaporated/sublimated. The diverse shapes of snow crystals (prisms, stellar plates, stellar and fern dendrites, columns, needles, stars, triangles, bullet rosettes, and many other shapes) are largely due to the strange temperature dependence of ice crystal growth rates, a phenomenon that was discovered 75 years ago and remains unexplained to this day! Temperature, humidity, the seed for the first crystal, and the occasional deuterium (heavy water) molecule, make each small snowflake unique at the atomic level, if not the microscopic level! ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ 🔬 📷

Wilson Alwyn "Snowflake" Bentley, born this day in 1865 was the first known photographer of snowflakes. He perfected a process of catching flakes on black velvet in such a way that their images could be captured before they either melted or sublimated.

The techniques used by Bentley to photograph snowflakes are essentially the same as used today, and though the quality of his photographs reflect the technical limitations of the equipment of the era, his photographs were so striking that hardly anybody bothered to photograph snowflakes for almost the next 100 years.  The broadest collection of Bentley's photographs is held by the Jericho Historical Society in his home town, Jericho, Vermont.

He would capture more than 5,000 images of crystals in his lifetime. 

This tartan, by Carol A.L. Martin, reflects the different colors of ice and snow, shades of colors generated by the absorption of both red and yellow light (leaving light at the blue end of the visible light spectrum). The absorption spectrum of ice is similar to that of water, except that hydrogen bonding causes all peaks to shift to lower energy - making the color greener. 

For a short slide show of the photographs of Snowflake Bentley, click the captured snowflake!

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