Herschel's Telescope, c 1839.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 29cm x 32cm

Herschel's Telescope, c 1839.

Herschel, John F W (John Frederick William), Sir

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


An experimental photograph on paper printed from a glass negative taken by Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) in about 1839. This was the only image recorded of the 40 foot telescope in Slough, Berkshire assembled in 1787 by William Herschel (1738-1822), prior to its dismantling in 1839. The massive reflecting telescope used a metal mirror four feet in diameter and weighed over a ton. A wonder of the age, it quickly became a landmark visited by the rich and famous. By the time his son, Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) took this photograph, the telescope structure had become unsafe through neglect.



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