I’ve been telling everyone for years now that the Pruyn Brashear Telescope is in good shape. It looks that way to me, but really, I’m not the expert. Thankfully, the telescope experts from Ray Museum Studios have now looked at it, and agreed that it’s in be in remarkably good shape for its age. In fact, despite the fact that it’s has gone through multiple warehouses, we only seem to be missing a single screw.
The Pruyn Brashear was purchased 120 years ago in order to get the Dudley Observatory up to date with late 19th century astronomy. Most notably, it could be used for both visual and photographic astronomy. Since photo-astronomy had become the driving force behind American astronomy after the civil war, this was crucial to keeping the Dudley Observatory relevant.
For our modern purposes, the Pruyn turns out to be an excellent telescope. These old large refractors do a great job of cutting through light pollution. And the interior of the telescope has numerous baffles which will cut down on ambient light. If we can manage to construct an observatory here in Schenectady, the Pruyn is exactly the type of telescope we’d want.