Article ID: CBB091949110

A history of Drake Municipal Observatory, Des Moines, USA: From riches, to rags, to restoration (2019)


In this paper we discuss the history of Drake Municipal Observatory in Des Moines, Iowa (USA), and identify three phases of its history: the early building stage, a period of decline, and the restoration. We also cover the initial purchase of the 8.25-in Warner & Swasey/Brashear refractor and its installation on the main Drake campus and introduce Daniel Walter Morehouse, the principal driving force behind the creation of Drake Municipal Observatory in 1920 as a joint initiative of Drake University and the City of Des Moines. Following Professor Morehouse's death in 1941, the observatory endured decades of decline until late twentieth-century efforts to restore the Observatory. We conclude this paper by discussing the educational role of the Observatory, the remarkable comet (C/1908 R1) discovered by Daniel Morehouse, and his research output while based at Drake Observatory.

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Authors & Contributors
Helmreich, Stefan
Shapiro, Irwin I.
Günergun, Feza
Ihsanoglu, Ekmeleddin
Shy, Jeffery R.
McCray, W. Patrick
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
British Journal for the History of Science
Annales du Midi
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Saber y Tiempo: Revista de Historia de la Ciencia
Harvard University Press
Pavia University Press
Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA)
Harvard University
Astronomical observatories
Science and politics
Science education and teaching
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Ulugh Beg
Madison, James
Liais, Emmanuel
Galilei, Galileo
Dawes, William
United States
Toulouse (France)
19th century
18th century
20th century, late
21st century
17th century
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
Türk Bilim Tarihi Kurumu (Turkish Society for History of Science)
College of William and Mary
Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa
Observatório Astronómico de Coimbra
University of St. Andrews

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