Archibald Montgomery Low

(1888 – 1956)

A M Low was a brilliant eccentric with a penchant for embracing what, at the time, were dismissed as wild and improbable ideas. Inevitably he was regarded askance by his professional colleagues, not, it must be added, merely because of his forward thinking, but also because he affected a mode of address (that of Professor) to which, strictly, he was not entitled, even on the strength of a period of service (1919 – 1922) during which he acted as Associate Honorary Assistant Professor of Physics at the Royal Ordnance College.

Archibald Montgomery Low (A. M. Low)

Archibald Montgomery Low (A. M. Low)

During the War of 1914-18, as an experimental officer operating under the aegis of what is now the RAF, Low began an investigation of rocket control by radio, initiating a programme of guided missile research. He claimed to have patents on 200-odd inventions. That he recognized the potentialities of the rocket as a means of locomotion in Space from the beginning is shown by the fact that he was subsequently in touch with the VfR in Berlin. His expression of interest led Willy Ley to alert P.E. Cleator of the BIS of his interest, and in 1933 Low promptly joined our small band of British would-be rocket experimenters.. As a member of the editorial board of “Armchair Science” he opened the columns to a series of articles on space travel, so helping to promote intelligent interest in the aims of the BIS.

In the pre-War period of the Society he became the acknowledged leader of BIS members in the London area, becoming President of the Society until 1945.

He died at Chiswick on September 18, 1956 at the age of 68.

Be sociable; support the BIS!