Detroit Observatory

The Detroit Observatory sits on the corner of Observatory and Ann streets in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was built in 1854, and was the first scientific research facility at the University of Michigan. Several Detroit businessmen and members of the community provided the funds, which is where the observatory gets its name.

It provided a number of astronomical tools for study, including a 6-inch (15 cm) Pistor & Martins meridian circle and a 12⅝-inch (32 cm) Henry Fitz, Jr. refracting telescope. The Fitz was the third largest telescope in the world when it was installed in 1857.

The function of the Detroit Observatory on campus was taken over by the Angell Hall Observatory which was completed much later.

The "Observatories of the University of Michigan" include the Detroit Observatory (1854), the Angell Hall Observatory (1927), the Lamont-Hussey Observatory (South Africa, 1928) and the McMath-Hulbert Observatory (Lake Angelus, MI, 1930).

In 2005, the Detroit Observatory became a division of the Bentley Historical Library.

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