Collection Storage Facility
This telescope was transferred from the Dominion Observatory to the Museum in 1974.
This 38-cm refracting telescope uses a lens as its objective to form an image. Its original lens consisted of two pieces of glass crafted by the (then) best lens maker in the world: John Brashear of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The manufacturers installed a clock mechanism in the telescope’s base, which enables the telescope to move at exactly the same rate that stars cross the sky. This allows astronomers to observe and take pictures of the faintest features of far-off stars and planets.
When it was installed in 1905, this instrument was among the largest refracting telescopes in the world, and it remains the largest erected in Canada. This operational artifact is a major part of the Dominion Observatory’s original equipment, and it played an important role in early astronomical research carried out in Canada.