History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Exhibition Label 2005

PHOTOGENIC DRAWING by Sir John F. W. Herschel, autumn 1839 - camera view (probably taken in an adapted telescope tube) of the mounting of his father Sir William Herschel's 40-foot telescope at Slough, shortly before its demolition; a series of images of this structure, all on this unusual circular format, are the only non-contact images Herschel is known to have made, as well as the first instance of using photography to record a historic building prior to demolition; the structure was already an icon, its image having been adopted as the logo of the Royal Astronomical Society

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