Calotype print by Nasmyth of lunar crater models and a refracting telescope outside his home in England, 1858

1858 in Penshurst
James Hall Nasmyth

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One of six calotype prints, showing two plaster relief models of the lunar surface, a refracting telescope on an equatorial mounting and various accessories. Taken by James Nasmyth at the front of his large house, 'Hammerhurst' near Penshurst in Kent and dated 24th March 1858.

Photograph (calotype print) by James Nasmyth (1808-1890), taken around 1858, showing a selection of his lunar crater models and a refracting telescope in front of his home at 'Hammerfield' in Kent, England. Nasmyth a successful industrialist and engineer made extensive observations of the Moon. Working from drawings, he calculated the height of the lunar features by measuring the length of their shadows. These were then photographed with suitable lighting to produce better results than could be achieved at the time using direct lunar photography. He went onto photograph a whole series of his lunar models. They were used to illustrate the book, 'The Moon' that Nasmyth published in 1871 with James Carpenter.


Object Number:
card, complete and paper
mount board: 289 mm x 264 mm
image: 214 mm x 190 mm
telescope - refracting
  • visual and verbal communication
  • photograph
  • positive - photograph
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical instrument
  • telescope
  • visual and verbal communication
Mr D.J. Johnson