The long view

dudley observatory pruyn telescope 1930

Then-Dudley Observatory director Benjamin Boss with the Pruyn Brashear Equitorial telescope around 1930. / photo courtesy of the Dudley Observatory

The Dudley Observatory recently started a blog -- Counting Stars -- to highlight both its long history and collection, along with what's currently happening there. The photo is above from a recent post about the observatory's Pruyn Brashear Equitorial refracting telescope, which the observatory has owned since 1893 when it was located on South Lake Ave in Albany -- and will again put into service when the Dudley builds its new observatory in Schenectady.

A quick clip:

The Pruyn was named after Robert Hewson Pruyn. The Pruyn (usually pronounced "prine") family is one of the great old dutch families that make up so much of Albany history. Robert H. Pruyn may be the most famous member, serving as the Minister to Japan during the American Civil War. He was also, naturally, a member of the Dudley board.
The telescope was named in his memory by his two sons, Robert C. and Clarence L. Pruyn. These two followed in their father's footsteps as lawyers and politicians, but they're probably most famous as businessmen running the Embossing Company, one of America's most successful manufacturers of puzzle, toys and games during the late 19th and early 20th century. Which means that the Pruyn was purchased with board game money, so to speak.

So many institutions around the Capital Region have long, rich histories -- and probably have photos, documents, pieces, and whatnot from that history. It's good see another one making some of that material more available to the public.

See also: Carl's posts about the history of the Dudley Observatory over at Hoxsie.

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