This collection contains records of the Mount Wilson Observatory Optical Shop, relating to the operation of the department
from 1911 to 1963 (bulk 1930-1947).
The department was responsible for repairing and maintaining the Observatory's telescopes, as well as for observatories around
the United States. The materials
include research and procedural notes,
correspondence, inventories and requisition slips, and job lists and employee time
Founded in December 1904 by George Ellery Hale and funded by the Carnegie
Institution, the Mount Wilson Observatory quickly became one of the 20th century’s
major astronomical research centers. Located just north of Los Angeles high atop the
San Gabriel Mountains, the observatory took full advantage of Southern California’s
clear nights and uniquely steady air. The observatory’s 60’’ telescope completed in
1908 was the largest then in existence. In 1917, another Mount Wilson telescope,
100’’ in diameter, claimed that title. The Optical Shop was the department
responsible for repairing and maintaining these telescopes. Optical Shop workers
ground and polished mirrors, lenses, and prisms: tasks requiring meticulous
precision and technique. In addition to serving Mount Wilson, the Optical Shop
produced optical instruments for observatories across the country.
931 items in 8 boxes
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