In July 2015 while perusing the gorgeous entries of exquisite cars in the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance in Lexington, Kentucky, I came across a vendor’s booth that housed a phenomenal piece of scientific and artistic apparatus called the “Porter Garden Telescope.” I was smitten!
I spoke with Russ Schleipman who was tied to the formal business venture called Telescopes of Vermont. He explained to me that several decades ago his father Fred discovered the Porter Garden Telescope. The original series were designed and built by Russell W. Porter in 1923 – one of the designers of the 200-inch Hale Telescope at Mt. Palomar in San Diego. A Newtonian reflector telescope by design, Russell built a limited number of them, one of which is in the Simthsonian.
Fred Schleipman put together a team of craftsman and technicians to faithfully recreate the telescope in all of its flourishing beauty and functionality. Check out their website for the details on their story and team:
Feature image via Telescopes of Vermont (Fair Use)
Some online sources:
- Telescopes of Vermont, GardenTelescopes.com
- Smithsonian Institute, www.si.edu/object/porter-garden-telescope:nmah_1184878
- This Beautiful Art Nouveau Telescope Can Be Yours, www.AtlasObscura.com
- Porter Garden Telescope, AmericanHistory.si.edu
Rebirth of a classic: the Porter Garden Telescope, terijoki.spb.ru (PDF)
- The Porter Garden Telescope, Wikipedia.org
- The Porter Garden Telescope, www.novacon.com.br
- Unusual Telescopes – Russell Porter’s Unusual Telescopes, www.astrosurf.com (PDF)
- The Telescope as Sculpture, ArchitectureHereAndThere.com
- The Art and Science of Stargazing, AmericanLifestyleMag.com
- Porter Garden Telescope Changes Hands, www.skyandtelescope.com
As with any sourcing on the internet, links can go ‘dead’ after a time. If you find the above-mentioned links no longer working, try the WayBack Machine: http://archive.org/web/web.php It’s sometimes a good way to pull up and view websites that are no longer active.