Wallpaper Wednesday (Sydney Observatory)

28 11 2012

Sydney Observatory, Sydney, Australia. Photo credit: Andrew, HDR Cafe

Today, I’m directing you toward a nice HDR image of the Sydney Observatory. Actually, I’m directing you to something even better; the flashy, crowd-pleasing image is just a diversion. Last night, I stumbled across a small treasure trove. Scattered across the Sydney Observatory’s blog are several reproductions and transcriptions of letters written by past NSW Government Astronomers: G. R. Smalley (1864–1870); H. C. Russell (1870–1907); and H. A. Lenehan (1907–1908). My favorite was the first one I found:

Letter by H. C. Russell, 4 June 1869. Image courtesy: Sydney Observatory

June 4th [186]9


I am directed by the
Government Astronomer to inform
you that he is put to very great
inconvenience by the smoky
state of the chimney in his Computing
Room, the smoke from which
sometimes drives him out of the
Room, while at others
everything in the Room gets covered
with soot and ashes; I am further
directed to ask you to carry into
effect with as little delay as
possible the requisition dated May 18
for the performance of this work.

I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant
H C Russell
for the
Govt Astronomer

The Colonial Architect

Follow this link to read more letters, click on photograph of the observatory to go to the image download page.