Monday, May 7, 2012

Mystery: Brashear Telescope Donated by Frick to Pittsburgh Suburb Missing for Decades

A new newspaper report looks at a long-time mystery regarding an astronomical observatory, which included a John Brashear telescope, which once existed in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. In the May 3 issue of the weekly Mount Pleasant Journal, Cassandra Vivian of The Mt. Pleasant Area Historical Society explains how industrialist Henry Clay Frick (then an executive with the Carnegie Steel Company) donated the observatory to his hometown school district in 1894.

The observatory, which did not last long, was located in the center of Mt. Pleasant's Frick Park and included a 6-inch refractor telescope produced by Pittsburgh's well-known John A. Brashear Company, Limited. It is still a mystery regarding what became of the Brashear telescope.

Ms. Vivian consulted with Antique Telescope Society members Bart Fried, John Briggs, and Matt Considine, and with Friends of the Zeiss Project Director Glenn A. Walsh, during her research.

Here is the newspaper article (9.4 MB .pdf file may take a little time to download):



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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  1. The article doesn't mention size, type of telescope...

    1. To: Elizabeth
      From: Glenn A. Walsh

      Well, actually the article does say that the telescope "was a Brashear Refractor Telescope that was 12 feet tall and six-inches in diameter."

      It says little more simply because of the mystery surrounding the telescope. The members of the Antique Telescope Society, who were consulted for this newspaper article, have conducted quite a bit of research and have no more conclusive information. Here is contact information for the Antique Telescope Society: