Inventory of City of Pittsburgh Assets,   

            Originated at The Buhl Planetarium and  

                    Institute of Popular Science,

           Moved to The Carnegie Science Center


                                      2007 September 24


Also see:

Buhl Planetarium Property, Equipment, and Artifacts, Legally Owned by the City of Pittsburgh

City of Pittsburgh Inventory of "Buhl Planetarium Assets" 2002 January 23


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 Pittsburgh.


The following is an inventory of City-owned assets, originated at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, moved to The Carnegie Science Center. The first four items were moved in 2002; the second ten items were moved in either 1991 or 1994. Unless otherwise indicated, these historic artifacts are believed to be stored in The Carnegie Science Center Warehouse (formerly Miller Printing Company Building).


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 ProjectorPrior to dismantling, oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !

2)       Planetarium Projector Control Console

3)       10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor TelescopePrior 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 !


City of Pittsburgh Assets Moved from The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science to The Carnegie Science Center either in 1991 (with the opening of The Carnegie Science Center) or in 1994 (complete closing of the original Buhl Planetarium building, then known as the Allegheny Square Annex of The Carnegie Science Center) – Placed in storage in The Carnegie Science Center’s Miller Warehouse Building, or in a few cases, utilized in The Carnegie Science Center:


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 StarsShowing movement of a binary star system.

c)       Light Takes Time to Travel – Regarding the speed of light.

d)       Tycho Brahe’s Mural Quadrant - Animated Diorama of Tycho Brahe's Observatory in Uraniborg, Denmark.

e)       Observatory of Hevelius at Danzig - Animated Diorama of Johannes Hevelius' Observatory in Danzig, Poland.

2)       Eight Astronomical Paintings by Pennsylvania artist and architect Daniel Owen Stephens:

a)       The Dragon

b)       A Perspective in Time

c)       Orion and Taurus the Bull (5)

d)       The Astronomer (sometimes known as "The Old Astronomer") (5) - A portrait of Johannes Kepler. - This painting was originally hung next to the entrance to the Men's Restroom on the Mezzanine Level of Buhl Planetarium. A black-and-white photograph of this painting has been published as the Frontispiece in the 1940 book, The Story of Astronomy by Arthur L. Draper and Marian Lockwood (this publication of a photograph of "The Astronomer" painting was courtesy of Mrs. D. Owen Stephens). At the time, Arthur Draper and Marian Lockwood were Assistant Curators of the original Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City; shortly after the book's publication, Arthur Draper became the second Planetarium Director of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. A photograph of this painting was also used 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

h)       Copernicus - A Portrait of Polish Astronomer Nicholas Copernicus. (This painting was originally hung next to the Women's Restroom on the Mezzanine Level of Buhl Planetarium. Commissioned by the Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh; donated for Buhl Planetarium.) This painting is hanging in a Planetarium office in The Carnegie Science Center Building.

3)       Two Portraits of Henry Buhl, Jr., whose will created the Buhl Foundation (as of 2010 July 1: one of these portraits is on display in the Atrium Gallery of The Carnegie Science Center, next to exhibit-only display of the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science).

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).

6)       4-Inch 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 Pittsburgh by mistake; Buhl Planetarium had ordered an Astronomical Refractor Telescope. However, due to beginning of World War II, it was not possible to return telescope to Carl Zeiss Optical Works in Jena, Germany for replacement. Has been used during “Observatory SkyWatch” sessions, usually on clear Saturday evenings, on the fifth floor of The Carnegie Science Center.

7)       Meteorites -- 746-Pound (340 kg) Iron-Nickel Meteorite, Fifth largest fragment from the Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona. Other meteorites of iron or stone (smaller than the 746-pound Meteorite), including two large fragments (including one 35-pound iron meteorite) from Barringer Meteor Crater were placed in storage, after being displayed for decades in the Hall of the Universe of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. Large fragment currently on public display near the entrance of The Carnegie Science Center’s Planetarium; smaller fragments are in storage.

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 Carnegie Science Center’s Planetarium.

9)       *Four Toledo Planetary Weight Scales: Earth, Moon, Mars, Jupiter.

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.




Older versions of this inventory: 2005 June 30 *** 2001 October