The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE GREAT YERKES TELESCOPE - Before us, on its high hollow-iron tower, we see the largest telescope in the world, as it was exhibited on Columbia Avenue in the Manufactures Building. It stood in the centre of the great aisle, between the clock tower and the north end, and near the booth of wonderful polished Arizona petrifactions. By means of the two axles on which the main cylinder was pivoted, the instrument could be pointed toward any star in the hemisphere, and at many times visitors were able to behold the operator putting the telescope through all its motions. The machinery within was operated by electricity. After the Fair it was dismounted, and on the night of January 8, 1894, while the Manufactures Buildings was on fire, President Harper, of the University near by, secured aid enough to carry the tube out of the threatened structure. Mr. John R. Johnson, Jr., who owns a beautiful house on the banks of Lake Geneva, Wis., near Williams Bay, tendered to the University the use of fifty acres on both lake and bay for the observatory. This generous offer was accepted, because the atmosphere of Chicago is too smoky for astronomical purposes. Mr. Charles T. Yerkes, the cable-car magnate, gave the University authority to make the largest telescope in the world at his expense, and it is said $500,000 was expended. The main lens is forty inches in diameter. It was not in the tube at Chicago, as it had not then been completed.
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Page created: August 26, 1998