Scott Kardel's
Palomar Observatory Collection

Page under construction!

"Mt. Palomar Telescope" assembled working model. St. Pierre & Patterson Mfg., Co, North Hollywood, Calif. Circa 1956(?).

Front and side views of the model and a close up of the patent on the north pier.

Front and side views of the packaging.

I purchased this item on eBay in late 2005. The model came assembled and was featured in the first Gumby claymation film Moon Trip (1956). You can watch a clip here. Here are some screen grabs from the DVD:
Episode Title, Gumby with model telescope, Gumby stretches to look through the model, Gumby looks through the telescope, Gumby's view of the Moon, Gumby's parents spy him on the Moon

"Mt. Palomar Telescope" model kit. Brumberger Bkly, N.Y. Circa 1962(?).

Front and top views of the packaging.

As far as I can tell this model is the same as the first one, but according to the box, it is made by Brumberger instead of St. Pierre & Patterson. Yet the model sill has the "Protected by Pending Patent St. Pierre & Patterson" text on the north pier. The only real difference in the model is that it shipped as a kit instead of fully assembled. The inclusion of a Mercury capsule and the Telstar satellite on the packaging seems to place this model from from the early 1960s. I purchased this complete model kit, with box on eBay in the summer of 2003.

Please contact me if you have more information on either of the models above.

Keith Mitchell writes in with this amazing update:

"Here is a picture of my Christmas present in 1956 (or 1957 – not sure) purchased at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base. The box, assembly instructions, and “Care and Use of your Palomar Reflector Telescope” booklet all show the St. Pierre and Patterson from Burbank origin and a copyright date of 1955."

Have a look at his photos:

The model has a much nicer color scheme (more accurate, that's for sure!) and the box is very 1950s. Have a look at box sides below:

1958 Topps Space Cards #49

The front and back of the Palomar Observatory card.

The text on the back confirms the idea that the Hale Telescope was America's space program before there was a space program. However it is a little odd in places: "This Hale Telescope photographs stars millions of miles away." Eeek!! That's too close! Here's an off-site link that shows the whole series of cards. Note that #49 is the only Palomar card in the series.

Bond Bread Blotter

I am not even sure that I know what a "bread blotter" is. Anyone? Note the swing at the Cassegrainian focus. That idea was never realized. It is depicted in this drawing by Russell Porter.

Palomar Mountain Observatory Medallion

The medallion measures almost 3" across. The front (left) reads: Palomar Mountain Observatory  Elevation 5580 feet   Revolving Dome   Diameter 137 feet   Weight 1000 tons

The text on the back (right) says: Telescope   264 inch tube   62 feet long   Weight 150 tons   Paraboloid 200inch Pyrex mirror   Weight 14 3/4 tons   accuracy of surface 1/200,000 inch   Whole Mounting 500 tons   Looks in space 1 Billion light years   1 light year = 5000.000.000.000 miles

Given that the name "Hale Telescope" isn't used, I would assume that this dates from before the June 3, 1948 dedication but I don't know.

Corning Glass Works ashtray/coaster replica discs of the 200-inch mirror

These are ashtray replicas of the back side of the 200-inch mirror. The first one that I know of was made for the 1939 New York World's Fair. It is inscribed in two rings along the top side. The outer ring reads: "CORNING GLASS WORKS. REPLICA 200 INCH PYREX TELESCOPE DISC." The inner ring says: "1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR." In later years Corning made more of these, but the inner ring of text was replaced with a raised ring. They were sold in boxes of 4, shown below:

The sets came with a small descriptive book that is shown with a set of discs below:

These are pretty easy to find on eBay these days with the exception of the 1939 NY World's Fair version.

A modern 1/200th scale model of the 200-inch Hale Telescope

This model is in production now by Barry Crist of b.crist miniatures. We sell them in the Palomar Gift shop and Barry sells them as well. This model looks great and is very special to me because I was able to commission the production of this fine model!

Another eBay purchase: a Palomar Observatory water-based decal manfuactured by Lindgren Brothers (Spokane, WA).

A small (7 1/2 inch) souvenir pennant that used to be sold at Thompson's Summet Grove, now called the General Store on Palomar Mountain.

Coming Soon:
  • My Palomar book list

    Contact Information:

    W. Scott Kardel
    Telephone: (760) 742-2111
    Fax: (760) 742-1728

    Snail Mail:
    Palomar Observatory
    P.O. Box 200
    Palomar Mountain, CA 92060-0200

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    Updated October 18, 2006