Sir Charles Todd was an outstanding astronomer, meteorologist and electrical engineer who showed remarkable leadership and great skill throughout his long working life.
He was born in London in 1826 and arrived in Adelaide in 1855 to take up the post of South Australian Government Astronomer and Superintendent of Telegraphs, a post which he retained until his retirement in 1906.
He married Alice Bell in 1855, just before departing for Australia. Alice lives on in Australia’s collective memory as she gave her name to Alice Springs.
The greatest of Todd’s life works was the Overland Telegraph Line, however he was also responsible for telegraph lines from Adelaide to Melbourne, Sydney and many South Australian regional towns.
Todd can arguably claim to be the first systematic meteorologist in Australia. He arranged for weather data to be telegraphed daily from around South Australia to Adelaide.
Todd was knighted in 1893 and died on 29 January 1910 in Adelaide.
Source: EHA News Bulletin 9 June 2011