Inventory of City of
Originated at The Buhl Planetarium and
Institute of Popular Science,
2007 September 24
On the date of dedication
of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, 1939 October 24, the
Buhl Foundation conveyed and donated the Buhl Planetarium building, and all
contents of the building, to the City of Pittsburgh. Hence, everything that was
in the Buhl Planetarium building, on the date of dedication, became the legal
property of the City of
The following is an
inventory of City-owned assets, originated at The Buhl Planetarium and
Institute of Popular Science, moved to The
1) Buhl Planetarium’s Hall of the Universe included twenty-one classic, "push-button" display-case exhibits (Astronomy: eighteen exhibits; Meteorology: three exhibits). The following five Astronomy exhibits are documented as being in Buhl Planetarium’ s, originally-titled, Hall of Astronomy, on the date of building dedication, and hence, are the property of the City of Pittsburgh:
a) Stars do Move – Demonstrating precession, with changes in the star configuration of the Big Dipper over 200,000 years of time as an example.
b) Twin Stars – Showing movement of a binary star system.
c) Light Takes Time to Travel – Regarding the speed of light.
Eight Astronomical Paintings by
a) The Dragon
b) A Perspective in Time
c) Orion and Taurus the Bull
d) The Old Astronomer (A photograph of this painting has been published in Astronomy textbooks, as well as in a 1961 black-and-white filmstrip for schools called "The Race for Space.")
e) Cygnus the Swan
f) Nine Planets and A Million Suns
g) The Great Bear
Copernicus (Portrait of Polish Astronomer Nicholas Copernicus.
Commissioned by the Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh; donated for Buhl
Planetarium.) This painting is
hanging in a Planetarium office in The
( More on Page 2 of 2 )
Addendum: City Assets from Buhl Planetarium 2007 September 24 Page 2 of 2
3) Two Portraits of Henry Buhl, Jr., whose will created the Buhl Foundation.
4) Portrait of Louise Buhl, wife of Henry Buhl, Jr.
5) Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator (and brass railing which previously encircled generator) -- Medium-sized model (not large Van de Graaff purchased in the late 1980s).
Zeiss Terrestrial Refractor Telescope Buhl Planetarium’s very first telescope. Has
unique history, due to purchase just prior to onset of World War II. Terrestrial
Refractor Telescope was sent to
7) Meteorites -- 746-Pound (340 kg) Iron-Nickel
Meteorite, Fifth largest fragment from the Barringer Meteor Crater
8) Fairbanks-Morse Planetary Weight Scale Displays person's weight for the planets Earth, Venus,
Mars, and the Moon. This exhibit
is currently in-use near the entrance to The
10) *Planetarium and Lecture Hall Sound Equipment
*Items with an asterisk [*] indicate that these pieces of equipment or artifacts were in the building on the day of dedication, and hence, are City property. However, these specific items are not the original equipment, but replacements for the original City-owned equipment; apparently, Buhl Planetarium management deemed it necessary to replace this original equipment. Since this replacement equipment was deemed necessary for continued operation of the institution [and, in the case of the Planetarium and Lecture Hall sound equipment, was absolutely essential!], this replacement equipment is City property.
Assets Transferred Under Terms of Three Memoranda of Understanding, between the City of Pittsburgh and The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Dated 2002 October 25; the City Retains Ownership of the Artifacts – Dismantled and placed in storage in The Carnegie Science Center’s Miller Warehouse Building:
1) Zeiss II Planetarium Projector – Prior to dismantling, oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !
3) 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope – Prior to dismantling, second largest Siderostat Telescope in operation in the world !
4) Large Mercator’s Projection Map of the World – When first assembled for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, it was considered the largest such map in the world !