Yesterday, I spoke at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as part of a Physics Department speaker series. Dawn Erb, one of my hosts in the department, was kind enough to send me this awesome photo of Edwin Hubble's personal telescope, from before he finished his Ph.D. The photo came from, Todd Bensenhaver, a friend of a friend of Dawn's, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and owns the telescope today. How did he end up with it?
Edwin Hubble grew up in Louisville, and later worked there for a year as a high-school Spanish teacher and basketball coach. When he left for graduate school at the University of Chicago, he gave his telescope to a fellow teacher, and it has been passed down through his family.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.