Franklin Institute Page

The last week of August 2011, my wife and I went to Philadelphia, PA to visit our youngest daughter. While she worked each day, we took side trips. One of those days we went downtown to visit the Franklin Institute and the Joel N. Bloom Observatory. We took everything in at the Franklin Institute and spent the full day there. Afterwards we met our daughter at Pat's Steaks and then we went across the street and tried Geno's Steak Sandwich. And in case you are wondering, Geno's "Whiz With" Steak Sandwich is our favorite! But look at the pictures below of the Franklin Institute and the Joel N. Bloom Observatory.

Bloom Observatory
This is the entrance to the Joel N. Bloom Observatory on the roof of the Franklin Institute.

Zeiss 10 inch
This is the 10" Zeiss Refractor on the roof of the Franklin Institute. Notice the roll off roof!

Zeiss Base
This is the mount and base of the 10" Zeiss. Wouldn't you like one of these in your backyard observatory?

Zeiss Dials
The dial on the side of the mount has all the writing in German. Carl Zeiss was a German optical maker and lived from 1816 until 1888. The company is still in business today.

Zeiss Memorial
A plaque on the side of the mount tells that this telescope is in the memory of John Tryce.

Zeiss Name Plate
The name plate showing that this is a Carl Zeiss telescope from Jena, Germany.

Rear of Zeiss
Looking at the rear of the telescope you get the glare from the Sun. They have a white solar filter on this scope and the 16 year old volunteer knew nothing about the Sun or the telescope. This was really sad. I was able to field questions from some of the other visitors while I was there but everyone else was left to the knowledge of this 16 year old.

Side of Zeiss
It sure would be nice to have this in the back yard. But I would rather have it at the farm where it is dark.

C9.25 Scopes
They have these three Celestron C-9.25's for their public night viewing one Thursday a month. The light pollution is so bad that they can only see the brightest objects there.

Roll Off Roof
They have the massive roll off roof that is powered by a large electric motor. The roof is a white glass structure that is in the shape of a pyramid.

Inside the Franklin Institute they have a giant pendulum to show the earth's movement throughout the day.

Out of Service
In the basement of the Franklin Institute is an old out of service telescope that I would not mind having at my house! That old man beside it is your's truly!

Wooden Refractor
This old wooden refractor is in the stairwell going down to the bottom of the pendulum and basement. Beautiful craftsmanship!

A side view of the big scope in the basement. A new mirror and electronics and it would be a great telescope!

Old Scope
After my wife snapped this last picture beside the telescope an older gentleman came up to me and said that he noticed that I had taken a lot of time and interest in the astronomy items among others. I told him that I was an amateur astronomer and had a keen interest in history and science. He walked off after a few minutes and the curator of the museum walked up and asked me what he had said. He told me his name (which I am too old to remember) and said that he was a famous PhD and he had never spoke to anyone there before. Our short five minute conversation means more to me because of this. I just wish I could remember what the curator said his name was! The Franklin Institute is worth an investment of a day's time. I will be back again on my next trip to Philly!

Pats Steaks
We met our daughter at Pats Steaks for their famous steak sandwich or incorrectly called, Philly Cheese Steak.

Genos Steaks
After eating at Pats we walked across the street and ate at Geno's. We voted for Geno's "Whiz With" steak sandwich as the best. But Pats makes an outstanding one, also. This guy in front of me works for Comcast and was there for training. He is also a ham radio operator, DXer, and Contester.

We had a great time in and around Philly that week. We made it to Gettysburg, Valley Forge, Atlantic City, and all around the Philly area. We were actually in the Caesar's Shopping Mall that is out on a pier in the Atlantic Ocean when the earthquake in Virginia hit. That was a spooky feeling and it took us 5 1/2 hours to get back to our hotel. Hurricane Irene came in on Saturday afternoon and we got one of the last flights out that morning. It was nice to be able to eat outside at restaurants in August without the heat, humidity, and bugs we have down south!