Historic Observatory Instruments Rescued, and now Showcased on Harvard Website

Draper Wind Instrument circa 1890Harvard Physics Professor David Wheatland began amassing his incredible collection of historic scientific instruments in the late 1940’s. His office soon became overwhelmed with his “foundlings” and he began storing them in basement rooms at Harvard and finally at his home and barn in Topsfield.
When Harvard began winding down it’s scientific studies at Blue Hill Observatory in the 1960’s many of the historic instruments had been stowed away and were in jeopardy of being discarded…enter “Mr. Wheatland”.
Over the next decade David Wheatland tirelessly rescued scores of historic instruments from Observatory closets and attics. This amazing collection is now carefully digitized and available for viewing on the website of The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University. Pictured here is a Draper wind direction and speed recorder used at the Observatory between 1890 and 1910. You can view this and all of the instruments here. Just type in “Blue Hill Observatory” in the “Search” box and then select “Objects” on the next page.