View Full Version : Warner/Swasey Telescope Crane Observatory

2004-Jun-07, 07:21 PM
OK Ladies and gentlemen. Last week my astronomy club made a trip to the Crane Observatory in Topeka, KS and got to play with a 115 year old telescope. The Warner/Swasey scope was built in 1889 and is still in good condition today even after going through a tornado in 1966 that ripped the roof off of the observatory. Fortunately the scope only had minor damage and could be repaired.

Brenda Culbertson is the director of the observatory and astronomy teacher at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. in addition ,she belongs to the KC SLUG(starlight users group) which is the name of our local astronomy club. Brenda was very generous with her time and expertise and we all appreciated her letting us use HER scope.

The 11.5" lens was hand ground by the famous French lens maker John Brashear and is still in great shape. The focal length is 4191mm, the tube weighs 1,000lbs and the base comes screaming in at 1400lbs. This is one of the oldest active telescopes in existance and is considered a museum piece. What a joy to observe with this instrument.

If you would like to see a picture go to http://www.washburn.edu/cas/physics/crane/index.html

Kaptain K
2004-Jun-08, 07:22 AM
My Alma Mater!!!

I (literally) spent hours observing through that scope!!

2004-Jun-08, 12:08 PM
[quote="Kaptain K"]My Alma Mater!!!

I have an attorney friend who went there as well and he always calls it "The Harvard on the Kaw" 8)