Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Anyone Remember the Solar Eclipse across Taiwan on 14 December 1955?

I received an Email from a reader concerning a Solar Eclipse which was visible in it's entirety across Taiwan on 14 December 1955.

It looks like the entire island of Taiwan had the full eclipse according to this outlined globe.

Taiwan can be seen within the red color circles on the extreme right side of this globe.

Here is the Email from Mr. Chen:

"There was an Annulus solar eclipse occurred on 12/14/1955. Per the local newspaper at that time, there was a team (or teams) with personnel from US National Geographic Society, MAAG, and motion picture studios like MGM and Columbia who set up an observatory in Tainan, Taiwan on a high ground near where the Tainan MAAG was stationed to record the event on film because the area was the sweet spot for observing that particular solar eclipse. All the structures and buildings in that area, however, have already been torn down to make room for more modern developments.   

I'm trying to help my friends in Taiwan to look into and possibly acquire a copy of some historical record/data about that event from that US team(s). They grew up in an area near that observatory and are now trying to capture the memory and history of that community (home for thousands of people at that time) as much as possible including all major events occurred over the years and keep them in archives and books (they already published a few books). They could only find a couple of local newspaper articles which reported the eclipse event. They were looking for additional records, photos of spectators, the surroundings, the film of that particular solar eclipse from the US team(s) because that was one of the major events at the time. 

If any of your former colleagues, friends, web visitors... have heard or known someone from MAAG back then had any information about it, through conversations, correspondences, news articles or personal interests, I appreciate it very much if you can let me know by replying to this email.       

I have made inquiry to US National Geographic Society, but they couldn't find anything. If you can forward my request on to whomever may have any knowledge or provide me with any lead from your record, memory, it will be appreciated by not only me, but those involved in compiling that community archive very much. But if there is no lead, that will be fine too, I can certainly understand. After all, it was such a long time ago. Thanks a lot for your help. 


TW Chen"
It was certainly a long time ago, but, you never know.  There could be someone reading this blog who has knowledge of and information Mr.Chen is enquiring about. 
If you have something, please Email us at Taipei Air Station and we will put you in contact with Mr, Chen.


Anonymous said...

The following is an article about the solar eclipse on Dec 14 1955, including a few photos taken in Kaohsiung.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Katie said she was 7 at the time. The day was dark and at one time it was pitch black. She said they had no TV and they all thought the world was coming to an end . So they ate a lot of chicken, because it was a special occassion. Normally they ate pork, Katie said .

TW said...


Thanks a lot for the information. The article is a good start. Although it was generated based on an observer in Kaohsiung, not Tainan (for those lived in the community near the Tainan observatory), nevertheless, it will be very useful as it contained a few names therein. I'm sure from whom more information can be uncovered.