Russell William Porter (1871-1949) was an architect, explorer, mapmaker, watercolorist, and pioneer in the field of “cutaway illustration.” As though this were not an impressive enough skill-set Porter was also an ameture astronomer and telescope builder, sometimes referred to as the “founder of amateur telescope making.” It was presumably this wonderful intersection of talents which lead astronomer George E. Hale to recruit him to work on the design of the 200-inch telescope on Mt. Palomar (for a time the largest telescope on earth). During its conceptual development Porter produced 19 beautiful drawings of the instrument, which amazingly (considering their technical depth and exactitude) were all done before the telescope was actually constructed using only blueprints as a guide. The Prime Focus, from this set, is pictured above.

this is a very interesting blog, such a nice collection of rare things…glad I found it

posted on 12.02 at 05:19 PMantonia

It never ceases to amaze me what wonderful art technical drawings make.

posted on 12.03 at 02:08 PMJane

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