Objective Lens

Objective Lens

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In an effort to get a better fix on the distance between the Earth and the Sun, the United States sponsored eight parties to observe the 1874 transit of Venus across the face of the sun, and equipped each with apparatus made by Alvan Clark & Sons. This 5-inch aperture achromatic lens in a brass cell was the objective for one of the eight equatorial refractors. The inscription on the cell reads “VII / 861”. This was sent to Whangaroa, Chatham Island for the 1874 transit of Venus, and to Aukland, New Zealand, for the 1882 transit of Venus.
Ref: Simon Newcomb, ed., Observations of the Transit of Venus, December 8-9, 1874 (Washington, D.C., 1880), p. 16.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telescope objective lens
date made
Alvan Clark & Sons
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridgeport
overall: 1 1/2 in x 6 3/16 in; 3.81 cm x 15.748 cm
overall: 1 7/16 in x 6 1/8 in; 3.65125 cm x 15.5575 cm
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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