'R S Newall's Telescope', 1872.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Refracting telescope belonging to English engineer and astronomer Robert Sterling Newall (1811-1889). When it was built in about 1870, this telescope, with its 25-inch lens, was the most powerful refracting telescope in the world. Newall, a wealthy amateur astronomer, had the telescope built on his estate at Ferndene, Gateshead. Newall made his fortune from inventing a machine for making wire rope. His company developed the machinery and techniques for laying underwater telegraph cables beneath the oceans. Newall was also reponsible for a series of drawings of the Sun made between 1848 and 1852.