Historical and Vintage Media

The following is a collection of media pertaining the history of Palomar Observatory for educational and public relations purposes—please see conditions of use. For context, please visit chronology, and the Hale Telescope and 18-inch Schmidt telescope history sections. For use of media not credited to Palomar Observatory, contact its original source.


The 18-inch Schmidt in the instrument shop, 1936. (Palomar/​Caltech Archives)

The 18-inch Schmidt in the instrument shop, 1936. (Palomar/​Caltech Archives)

Domes and cottages, ca. October 1937. (Palomar/​Gray Collection)

Yoke assembly at Westinghouse, July 1938. (Palomar/​Froebel Collection)

Hale Telescope dome from the 18-inch, ca. 1938. (Palomar/​Gray Collection)

200-inch Pyrex disk in the Caltech optical shop. (Palomar/​Caltech)

The 200-inch disk, 1939. (Palomar/​Carpenter Collection)

Telescope truss, 1939. (Palomar/​Carpenter Collection)

18-inch Schmidt dome, 1939. (Palomar/​Carpenter Collection)

Hale Telescope dome, 1940. (Palomar/​Carpenter Collection)

Hale Telescope dome with open shutters, 1941. (Palomar/​Caltech Archives)

Transporting of the 200-inch disk, 1947. (Palomar/​Belyea Collection)

Dedication of the Hale Telescope, June 1948. (Palomar/​Caltech)

Horseshoe and truss, July 1948. (Palomar/​Carpenter Collection)

Hale Telescope dome in moonlight, 1950.

Hale Telescope dome in winter, 1959. (Palomar/​Caltech)


Pouring the World's Largest Eye (1934)

Silent, black and white video documenting the pouring of the first 200-inch Pyrex disk on March 25, 1934. Duration: 11:26 minutes. (© Corning Museum of Glass).

The Story of Palomar (1948)

Film about the building of the Hale Telescope. Includes footage of E. Hubble, M. Humason, B. Rule, R. Porter, M. Mason, J. Anderson, M. Brown, L. DuBridge, I. Bowen, and technicians working on the 200-inch mirror. Duration: 38:42 minutes. (Public domain)

Dedication of the Hale Telescope (1948)

This video, created in 2018 for the 70th anniversary of the Observatory's dedication, is composed of surviving original audio and footage, stock Palomar footage, and photographs taken during the June 3, 1948 ceremony. Duration: 2:37 minutes. (Caltech Optical Observatories)

A Night Observing Quasars (1969)

Short excerpt from BBC's The Violent Universe about astronomer Maarten Schmidt observing with the Hale Telescope. Duration: 8:25 minutes. (© BBC)

Additional vintage footage can be viewed at archive.org: Palomar construction footage (1935–1948), Palomar stock footage (1960), and the film The Universe from Palomar (1967).

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Vintage Media / v 1.0.3
Last updated: 24 July 2018 ACM