“Biggest in the World” 1897 - 1908

• Weight of telescope - 6 tons

• Weight of telescope mounting - 50 tons

• Telescope length - 63 feet

• Dome radius - 90 feet

• Movable floor weighs 37.5 tons

• The world’s largest refracting telescope

• Location - Williams Bay, Wisconsin

George Ellery Hale presided over the first official glimpse through the telescope. It was a beautiful cloudless night. They trained the giant telescope toward Jupiter, magnified 400 times. Scientists and dignitaries from all over gazed through the new machine.

“The night was perfectly cloudless...Pres. Harper, of the University of Chicago, first looked through the tube and beheld the mighty planet ...To say that he was pleased with the effect would be far from expressing his feelings. The great telescope was pronounced a success."

-Williams Bay Observer, 1897

Yerkes Observatory

Yerkes Observatory
The Fair
The Accident
New Worlds

Photo of the Yerkes Observatory