Friends of the Zeiss

P.O. Box 1041

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

Telephone: 412-561-7876

Electronic Mail: < >

Internet Web Site: < >


2004 June 1


Ms. Joanna E. Haas, Director

The Carnegie Science Center

One Allegheny Avenue

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212-5850


Dear Ms. Haas:


Enclosed is a copy of a news release, issued by Friends of the Zeiss, regarding our planned public observing session for the very rare Transit of the Planet Venus across the image of the surface of the Sun early on the morning of June 8. We plan to use a 6-inch reflector telescope to project an image of the transit event onto a portable projection screen.


Saturday, on the weekly WPTT-AM radio program Birds and Nature, Carnegie Science Center Planetarium Director John Radzilowicz said that The Carnegie Science Center would try to observe this event, but the Science Center site restricts the observing until late into the event.


With this letter, on behalf of Friends of the Zeiss, I would like to invite The Carnegie Science Center to co-sponsor the observing session we plan on June 8, along with Friends of the Zeiss and The Duquesne Incline. With our observing site high on Mount Washington, we will not have the restrictions that the Science Center has in the Ohio River valley.


And, with The Carnegie Science Center’s good reputation in the region, it is more likely that the media will more broadly promote this rare astronomical event. Hence, more Western Pennsylvania residents who would have an interest in viewing this event will likely hear about it.


On Saturday, I believe Mr. Radzilowicz said that the Science Center would be using the historic Zeiss Refractor telescope for viewing the Venus Transit event. It would be a wonderful supplement to our planned observing, with the 6-inch reflector telescope, if The Carnegie Science Center could bring this historic, portable Zeiss telescope to the observation deck of The Duquesne Incline, to see the entire event visible in Pittsburgh.


The historic Zeiss Refractor Telescope was Buhl's first telescope, used for the interim period before the historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope was completed in 1941. It was purchased at the same time as the very historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector and received in 1939.


However, Buhl officials were quite disappointed when they received the Zeiss Refractor Telescope. Zeiss had sent Buhl the wrong telescope! While Buhl, of course, had ordered an astronomical refractor, Zeiss had sent Buhl a terrestrial refractor!








Ms. Joanna E. Haas                                              2004 June 1                                                             Page 2 of 2




Buhl officials would have wanted to return the telescope, to have Zeiss send the correct telescope.

However, by this time, Hitler had started World War II in Europe, and the return of the telescope to the

Zeiss Optical Works in Jena, Germany [and particularly an exchange of telescopes] was out of the question.

So, Buhl learned to make-do with a terrestrial telescope.


The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science used, and now The Carnegie Science Center is using, a telescope with a rather unique history.


If The Carnegie Science :Center is interested in co-sponsoring the Pittsburgh public viewing of the rare Venus Transit event, with Friends of the Zeiss and The Duquesne Incline, I can be contacted at telephone: 412-561-7876 or electronic mail: < >, to coordinate the arrangements.


Sincerely yours,




Glenn A. Walsh

Project Manager




Enclosure: Friends of the Zeiss News Release of 2004 May 25: “Safe Public Viewing of Rare Astronomical

                    Event at Duquesne Incline Observation Deck”


Copy:          David Miller, President, The Duquesne Incline

                    Steering Committee, Friends of the Zeiss