Model of the Great Melbourne telescope, Australia, 1876.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Thomas Grubb of Dublin, Ireland. The instrument, a 48 inch reflecting telescope, was constructed in with a speculum (bronze alloy) mirror in 1862. The telescope was ordered by the government of the colony of Victoria in Australia to study the southern skies. The use of a metal mirror rather than a glass one, along with its overall design, contributed to the telescope being a complete failure with little useful research being achieved. Rebuilt and fitted with a modern mirror it was moved to Mt Stromlo Observatory in 1953. Here it had a profitable career until 2003, when it was destroyed, along with the observatory, by a fierce bushfire.