S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Lowinger, Mr Victor Alexander (surveying, astronomy)

Born: 1879, London, United Kingdom.
Died: 1957, Place not known.

Victor Alexander Lowinger (also Loewinger) came to the Cape Colony from England during the eighteen-nineties. In 1900 he passed the Survey Certificate examination of the University of the Cape of Good Hope and in 1902 was admitted as a land surveyor in the Cape Colony. He was employed at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, where he reduced field observations made during the geodetic survey of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and the survey of the border between German South West Africa (now Namibia) and the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana). This work was carried out under the direction of Dr David Gill*. In 1904 he joined the staff of William Morris*, the superintendent of the geodetic survey of the Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony (now the Free State), and carried out precise levelling from Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) to Pretoria.

While at the Royal Observatory Lowinger also participated in astronomical work, which was later published as 'Heliometer triangulation of the southern circumpolar area' (Annals of the Cape Observatory, 1914, Vol. 11, pp. 1-135) under the names Hough*, S.S., Goodman, S.L., Lowinger, V.A., and De Sitter*, W. Most of the observations were made by Goodman and Lowinger, who also carried out most of the early stages of computation. Lowinger was an early member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science.

Around 1906 Lowinger joined the Survey Department of the Malay States, headed by Col. Hugh M. Jackson*, the former Surveyor-General of the Transvaal Colony. He resurveyed the primary and secondary triangulation of the Malay States and after a few years became superintendent of the Trigonometric Survey of the territory. In 1923 he was appointed Surveyor-General of the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. Among others he published An account of the primary triangulation of Malaya (1931). In 1932 he was honoured as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

List of sources:

Ancestry.co.uk, at http://search.ancestry.co.uk

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the Surveyor-General, 1901.

Google Books, at http://books.google.co.za

Google scholar, at http://scholar.google.co.za/ Publications by V.A. Lowinger.

South African Association for the Advancement of Science. Report, 1903, 1905/6: Lists of members.

South African Survey Journal, 1923, Vol. 1(1), pp. 6-7: Notes and comments: Personal.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 1 January 1932, p. 11: General chancery of the orders of knighthood.

Compiled by: C. Plug