An Observatory for Maryport
Maryport Advertiser Friday 18th September 1863
The late Mr Daniel Dawson in erecting the tall building at the South-West end of Crosby street, intended to furnish it with a large day and night telescope, camera obscure, and other instruments, suitable for an Observatory; but his sudden death occurring before his object was fully carried out, disappointed the hopes of many of his townsmen. The building is now let at a low rent as a dwelling house, but is still available for the object for which it was originally designed. The wish has lately been revived. It has been suggested to us that a joint stock company, under the Limited Liability Act, might readily be formed—say, at £1 per share; and for £l2O, or £l5O, the buiding might be provided with suitable instruments, and otherwise fitted up in the interior, so as to make it an attractive place of resort for our summer visitors as well as the inhabitants, on all occasions. We have submitted the plan to Thomas Cooke & Son, the Astronomical Instrument Makers, in York, and their reply•to our queries is as follows:
The Telescope you refer to, is of 4 inches aperture. The object glass is manufactured by ourselves,—the tube and eye pieces are French, of which 8 are astronomical and 2 terrestrial. The equatorial mounts are by Adie, of Edinburgh, and are on Professor Smyth's mortar principle. It in furnished with graduated hour circle, and tangent screw motions, and declination circle. The object is quite new and excellent. The price, as above described, is 30 Guineas. As to the Camera, I should require the size of the object, for which it is intended, before 1 can glee you as answer. Yours &c
We believe the Telescope here described cost, originally, £80—but was taken back into stock by Messrs. Cooke in lieu of one adapted for an enlarged establishment. It is quite unnecessary for us to expatiate on the advantages to the town generally, in having something which would prove attractive to our summer visitors. neighbouring towns are stealing a march on us, and if we do not bestir ourselves we shall be distanced in the race. If, after securing the necessary astronomical and Mathematical apparatus to satisfy the more philosophical class, a collection of such natural products as the district furnishes were stored up there, it would soon become a local museum, to which the annual subscribers residing in the town could resort at, any time, especially when eclipses, comets, or other astronomical phenomena were to be seen while the strangers would find it a pleasant, as well as profitable place of resort to while away their tedious hours, and give a pleasing variety to their otherwise monotonous occupations. We shall shortly return to this subject. In the meantime let our friends digest some plan of carrying out the object.