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2008/19/1 Astrographic telescope, lens and accessories, metal / glass / wood / leather, made by Howard Grubb, 1888-1890, used by Melbourne and Sydney observatories, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia / Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1890-1987. Click to enlarge.

13-inch Melbourne astrographic telescope made by Howard Grubb

Made by Sir Howard Grubb and Sons Ltd in Dublin, Ireland, 1888-1890.

In 1887 astronomers from around the world embarked on a massive new enterprise; known as the Carte du Ciel (Mapping the Stars) project it involved photographing and measuring the stars in both hemispheres. Australia was actively involved in this international project with observatories in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth being keen participants. Each observatory was allocated a zone of the sky and was expected to record it using instruments of a standard pattern.

British institutions preferred to ...

Summary

Object No.

2008/19/1

Object Statement

Astrographic telescope, lens and accessories, metal / glass / wood / leather, made by Howard Grubb, 1888-1890, used by Melbourne and Sydney observatories, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia / Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1890-1987

Physical Description

Astronomical equipment comprising original Grubb lens, lens from Sydney Observatory astrographic camera, observation furniture and other accessories.

Production

Notes

Thomas Grubb entered the scientific instrument business in the 1830s and quickly made a name for himself constructing telescopes. Largely self taught he ran his firm from Charlemont Bridge in Dublin where he developed both his mechanical and optical skills. As the market for telescopes was fairly limited it is likely Grubb made most of his money form his appointment as Engineer to the Bank of England and from his patented cheap lenses.

The commission for the huge 48-inch reflector in Melbourne led Grubb to set up a separate workshop at Rathmines, Ireland. This workshop was developed by his son Howard Grubb after the retirement of his father in 1870.

In the later part of the nineteenth century contracts for large telescopes began to dry up and Howard Grubb shifted the businesses focus to military optics. The company moved its operation to St Albans in 1920 and in 1925 was acquired by Sir Charles Parson. It was renamed Sir Howard Grubb Parsons and Co Ltd (known as Grubb Parsons) and based in Newcastle upon Tyne. This company built optical components for a number of telescopes including the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring near Coonabarabran.

Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management project, December 2008

References
Glass, I. S., Victorian Telescope Makers; the Lives and Letters of Thomas and Howard Grubb, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol and Philadelphia, 1997
King, H., C., The History of the Telescope, Dover Publications, New York, 1955

History

Used

Melbourne Observatory 1890-1987

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Macquarie University, 2008

Acquisition Date

30 January 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

13-inch Melbourne astrographic telescope made by Howard Grubb 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 July 2019, <https://ma.as/375200>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/375200 |title=13-inch Melbourne astrographic telescope made by Howard Grubb |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 July 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display at the Sydney Observatory.

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