Some notable examples are Lick Observatory, Lowell Observatory, Archenhold Observatory, Royal Greenwich Observatory, Nice Observatory, and Yerkes Observatory, which houses the largest refracting telescope in the world. The Legacy of Yerkes Observatory. Astronomers based at Yerkes have traveled to other telescopes for their research, and Yerkes has managed several remote telescope facilities at different points in its history. Donate. PSM V51 D822 Telescope at yerkes observatory.jpg 2,077 × 2,616; 639 KB PSM V60 D306 The forty inch telescope of the yerkes observatory.png 1,661 × 2,129; 952 KB The Americana - a universal reference library, comprising the arts and sciences, literature, history, biograhy, geography, commerce, etc., of the world (1903) (14771315644).jpg 2,384 × 1,494; 983 KB But as an intellectual center for astronomy, it has often had no equal. Along the peripheral edges of the entrance room are caricatures in the form of William Rainey Harper, John D. Rockefeller, and even Charles Yerkes himself. Many large refracting telescopes have been constructed throughout history. The way these genres manifest themselves in Yerkes are seen through an emphasis of symmetry, a raised first floor, arched windows, a flat roof, and other classical details. The dome is set on top of wheels like those on a train and placed on top of an iron track in order to allow the dome to rotate based on the position of the telescope inside. This telescope is the gift of Charles T. Yerkes, of Chicago, who is president of the North and West Side Street Railway companies, to the University of Chicago. Structurally, the dome consists of an iron skeleton, on top of which there is a layer of wood sheathing to prevent dripping and leakage during inclement weather. The foundation was laid in 1895, hence the markings on the two shields on either side of the entrance. Yerkes Observatory, astronomical observatory located at Williams Bay on Lake Geneva in southeastern Wisconsin, U.S. Read More; Inspire your inbox – Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers. We have seen many youngsters who love the building and the telescope and are fully engaged in our tours. The observatory was named for the impressively mustachioed … The historic telescope has been on view to the public, and in service to scientists, for the past 120 years while housed in the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, a beautiful building designed by World’s Fair architect Henry Ives Cobb. Yerkes was the last … The Yerkes Observatory is currently closed to the public and is expected to reopen in late 2019 or early 2020. Donate - Announcements - Announcements. History of Yerkes. The column it rests upon is forty-three feet high and weighs fifty tons. Do wander the expansive grounds to view the building from all angles. As they move around in order to get a better view, they suddenly come across the following inscription written on one side of the frame-work: “The Yerkes’ Telescope, Presented to the Chicago University by Charles T. Yerkes.”. The Yerkes Observatory, in the century since its establishment by George Ellery Hale, has had a profound impact on the history of the sciences of astronomy and astrophysics. The object glass is forty inches in diameter, the largest ever made, and weighs, with the cell, 750 pounds. Apply. The 40-inch refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, contains the world’s largest refracting lenses. Especially with the coming of the large reflectors, it was realized that the location of the telescope plays a critical role in the performance of the instrument. This description of the Yerkes Telescope display comes from the October 1893 issue of World’s Columbian Exposition Illustrated. Hierarchical representation is an essential element of the Beaux Arts and the raised first floor as well as the grandeur of the entrance both represent the importance of the space. The main driving wheel is eight feet in diameter and the driving clock, which moves the great tube, weighs one and one-half tons. August 20th, 2020 - Thank you Kyle Cudworth and Rich Kron for such great direction on things that should be saved and things that could be safely removed. Enter your email. The historic telescope has been on view to the public, and in service to scientists, for the past 120 years while housed in the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, a beautiful building designed by World’s Fair architect Henry Ives Cobb . At last they have found the great Krupp gun they have read so much about. At the time, astronomy was picking up in popularity both in the realm of amateurs and academics. We've seen the opposite too. Our Partners. The materials of the dome as well as the mechanics of it share several similarities with bridges of the time, and therefore, a bridge builder was commissioned. Examples of Refracting Telescopes. For groups of 15 or more, special programs are available, including viewing through the telescope, mini-classes, slide shows and talks. Among the many enormous and record-breaking displays at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, none were astronomical as the Yerkes Telescope. [Image from World’s Columbian Exposition Illustrated, October 1893.]. Watch this listing for more information as it becomes available. Yerkes researchers led by Doyal Harper, a student of Low’s, pioneered airborne far-IR astronomy—first with a 0.3 m telescope in a Learjet, then a 0.9 m telescope in a C-141 (named the Kuiper Airborne Observatory), and most recently a 2.7 m telescope in a Boeing 747 (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA). As the project developed, Hale took the lead in planning the building. Built in the 1890s, it is world-famous for housing the largest refracting telescope in the world, a 40-inch diameter, 60-foot long metal behemoth that weighs over six tons. The added functionality of the building raised the bar for observatories and paved the way for a stellar astrophysics program moving forward. Among the many enormous and record-breaking displays at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, none were astronomical as the Yerkes Telescope. The style of the building is classified as Beaux Arts, which is a mixture of Gothic, French Neoclassical, and American Renaissance styles. The Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago was named for its benefactor, transportation magnate Charles T. Yerkes, and was opened in 1897. Optically it is a Ritchey–Chrétien design, and the main mirror uses low expansion glass. The body of the building is made of brown brick, which made sense both financially and logistically, given Chicago was right at the beginning of a brick “Golden Age.” The more decorative elements of the exterior, such as the Corinthian Order pilasters, the ornate cornices, and the textured columns are made of cast terracotta. The telescope was used as a testbed for an adaptive optics system in the 1990s. The total weight of the entire piece of mechanism is 75 tons. Also in 1893, Harper hired George Ellery Hale as an associate professor of astrophysics. In order to enter the building, one must journey upwards and into the grand entrance. The Observatory is the home of the world's largest lens-type (refractor) telescope, and two other research-grade reflecting (mirror-type) telescopes. Courtesy of University of Chicago Photographic Archives “YERKES BREAKS INTO SOCIETY—Street-Car Boss Uses Telescope as a Key to the Temple Door—AND IT FITS PERFECTLY,” the Chicago Evening Journal exclaimed when Charles … The primary lens in the main Yerkes telescope is 40 inches (102 centimeters) in diameter. Picturesque World’s Fair – Athletic Pastimes in A Street In Cairo, “Halcyon Days in the Dream City’’ Part 17: “Vale”, “Halcyon Days in the Dream City’’ Part 16: The Transportation Building, “Halcyon Days in the Dream City’’ Part 15: The Palace of Art, “Halcyon Days in the Dream City’’ Part 14: A Dream, Follow Chicago's 1893 World's Fair on WordPress.com, Daniel Burnham Inducted into Lincoln Academy Hall of Fame, Season’s Readings: New Books about the World’s Columbian Exposition, Commonplace Fun Facts Relives the Wonder of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Ontario’s Mammoth Squash at the 1893 World’s Fair, The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the Library of Congress (video). History of Yerkes. Copyright 2020 WorldsFairChicago1893 | All Rights Reserved |, 109. At the close of the Fair the instrument will be re moved to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, this location being decided upon from the fact of it being away from the dust and smoke of the city, which would have made its use almost impossible. The Yerkes Observatory not only established the format of the modern research observatory but was also the scene for many of the major scientific discoveries in the past century in these fields. The building was to consist of not only the housing for the telescope but also laboratories, workshops, and a library. The historic telescope has been on view to the public, and in service to scientists, for the past 120 years while housed in the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, a beautiful building designed by World’s Fair architect Henry Ives Cobb. Shortly after the founding of the University of Chicago in 1890, the first president William Rainey Harper began planning to build a distinguished and prestigious astronomy program. In the year 1893, the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago introduced the 40-inch refracting telescope as an astronomical example of stargazing technology. A painting of the Yerkes Telescope by Charles Graham. All the intricacies of the space align as manifestations of academic excellence, prosperity, and an undeniable pedigree. Built in 1895, the telescope and observatory are owned by the University of Chicago. Since there were many requirements that needed to be met to form a proper research observatory, Hale essentially already had the building’s composition in mind. The tube is 64 feet in length and 12 inches in diameter. Thousands of visitors at the Fair pass into the building every day, and the first object that greets them is a square steel column, rising up from the floor to a height of about forty feet. It was during this year that Harper and Hale conceived what would become known as Yerkes Observatory. Learn how your comment data is processed. E. E. Barnard used the telescope in 1892 to discover a fifth moon of Jupiter, Amalthea. The telescope is made of 40-inch glass lenses manufactured by the Alvan Clark and Sons Company in Massachusetts. Perhaps a bit too much is told about the architectural decorations on the building, but some may find that interesting. The construction of the 40-inch refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, was directed by George Hale, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, and funded by Charles Yerkes, a Chicago businessman. On October 21, 1897, Charles Tyson Yerkes presented the dedication speech of The Yerkes Observatory to 700 astronomers and those interested in the discovery of the heavens. It was during this year that Harper and Hale conceived what would become known as Yerkes Observatory. Architect Henry Ives Cobb was chosen as the builder, given his prior work in Chicago for the University as well as the city. Yerkes Observatory was the pet project of Charles Tyson Yerkes, a Chicago transportation bigwig. Our Legacy. It was operated by the University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics from its founding in 1897 to 2020. News. Yerkes’ likeness is easiest to spot because of the thick moustaches on some of the sculptings. Hale gained inspiration for the building from Lick Observatory in California, and other examples in Germany, which are clearly seen as having influenced some design decisions. Among the treasures at Yerkes are 170,000 glass photographic plates taken with the 40-inch refractor and the other telescopes starting in the early 1900s and continuing through the century. Given this information, Cobb translated the requests of Hale into what we now see today. Yerkes Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.A. This great revealer of the solar system has a double interest for everybody, from the fact that it is the largest telescope in the world and has been presented to what promises to be the greatest university in this country. The polar axis of steel is fifteen inches in diameter and weighs three and one-half tons, while the declination axis also of steel, is twelve inches in diameter and weighs one and one-half tons. Yerkes, who was fighting off charges of fraud, embezzlement, and bribery at the time, saw the observatory as an opportunity to save his reputation. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. An exhibit that attracts much attention and many comments stands in the north end of the Manufactures building. The largest practical functioning refracting telescope is the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope, which is used today for solar observations. The interior is just as ornate as the exterior, but is instead made of a light cast plaster so as to embody a sensation of weightlessness and expansion rather than confinement and boundedness. Also in 1893, Harper hired George Ellery Hale as an associate professor of astrophysics. It is known as the 41 inch to avoid confusion with a 40 inch refractor at the observatory. The Great Dome, which spans 90 feet in diameter, was not in fact built by Cobb, but instead by King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing in the fall of 1896. The interior details, though almost entirely aesthetic, are meant to amplify the use of the building. ✨🔭 #YerkesObservatory #Astronomy #History Yerkes is strongly tied to the quaint community in which it resides. The observatory’s 40-inch (102-centimetre) refracting telescope is still the largest refractor in the world. Second is the Yerkes Observatory 40 inch (102 cm) refractor, used for astronomical and scientific observation for over a century, and the next biggest is the James Lick telescope, and the Meudon Great Refractor. The university considers the observatory to be the birthplace of modern astrophysics and many noted scientists have come there to research, including Albert Einstein. The terracotta and brown brick elements are intended to look as though they were carved out of stone. Yerkes Observatory is a facility of the University of Chicago, and is still very much in use today. This was the first addition to Jupiter's known moons since Galileo observed the planet through his parchment tube and spectacle lens. The Yerkes Observatory, dedicated in 1897, is home to the largest refracting telescope in the world, along with several other working telescopes. Yerkes financed a plan developed by George Ellery Hale, who … Physically and metaphorically the journey up the steps and into the grand entrance signifies a sort of passage into a room of the sky. In the year 1893, the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago introduced the 40-inch refracting telescope as an astronomical example of stargazing technology. Just as many motifs are found inside Yerkes as are found on the exterior of the building. In Charles Tyson Yerkes. Due to the fact that Hale had previously built his own observatory in his father's back yard, Cobb worked off of and developed drawings already done by Hale. The telescope provided spectra for W. W. Campbell's work on the radial velocities of … The tour covered the history of Yerkes the man and the Observatory, and the forty inch refractor telescope's place in the world of large telescopes. Our Legacy. 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