France 1956 – Camille Flammarion

Nicolas Camille Flammarion (1842–1925) was a French astronomer noted for his popularization of the subject to the general public. As a young man he worked at Paris Observatory but left to pursue his popular writing. In 1882 a donation from a wealthy admirer allowed him to set up his own private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge (shown on this stamp) where he worked until his death. Also in 1882 he founded the monthly magazine l’Astronomie and in 1887 founded the Sociétié Astronomique de France, of which he was the first president. His most famous work, Astronomie populaire, was published in 1880 and translated into English as Popular Astronomy in 1894. A spiritualist, he was a strong believer in life on other worlds, a subject which featured prominently in his writings.

Flammarion’s stamp was in a four-part set commemorating French scientists, the others being Jean Henri Fabre, an entmologist; Charles Tellier, a refrigeration engineer; and Paul Sabatier, a chemist.

SG number
Face value
18 f