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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mystery History -- Solved!

John wins with his 8:33 a.m. Tuesday guess "Andrew Carnegie with George Ellery Hale (arm in arm) visiting Mount Wilson."

In the photo above, Andrew Carnegie, center, walks arm-in-arm with George Ellery Hale, right, outside Mount Wilson Observatory during Carnegie's week-long visit in 1910 to see what his money had made possible.

Carnegie was a self-made, wealthy industrialist who founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington (now called Carnegie Institution for Science), which funded the Mount Wilson Observatory. 

Carnegie also built Carnegie Hall, founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Mellon University and so much more.

Hale, a force to be reckoned with in Pasadena, founded the observatory and was instrumental in the founding of Caltech, which previously had been Throop University.

As a member of Pasadena's first Planning Commission, Hale guided the master plan for the Civic Center -- which now consists of Pasadena Public Library to the north and Pasadena Civic Auditorium to south, with City Hall, the Post Office, Police Building, Courthouse and other structures in between.

The Hale Building in the Civic Center, which houses the Pasadena Planning Department and the Permit Center, is named in his honor.

I love this more formal photo taken at the Hotel Maryland during Carnegie's visit. Left to right are Hale, J.H. McBride, John Muir, H.F. Osborn, John Daggett Hooker, J.A.B. Scherer and Carnegie.

The elegant headquarters for the Carnegie Institution for Science's Carnegie Observatories is at 813 Santa Barbara Street in a quiet Pasadena neighborhood off North Lake Avenue. It features beautiful grounds; you can explore inside and meet the astronomers during an annual open house every October, which I highly recommend. 

I'll leave you with this photo of Carnegie and Hale inside Mount Wilson Observatory in front of the 60-inch telescope.

Many thanks to Caltech, American Institute of Physics, The Carnegie Observatories and Mount Wilson Observatory for the photos.


  1. Wow, I never knew John Muir met Hale and Carnegie. Hale and Muir are among my top 10 American heroes.

    1. It seems all roads led to Pasadena back then, Bellis!

  2. Went back to the Maryland Hotel link nd caught this

    "Located on Colorado Street between Los Robles and Euclid, the Maryland was a resort hotel built in 1903. After it burned to the ground in April 1914, it was rebuilt (designed by Myron Hunt) and then demolished in 1938 to make way for The Broadway department store."

    I remember that Broadway when it was whimpering on it's last leg. Do you know the address?

    About the Hale building, Pasadena bought a painting from me that should be somewhere in the building. A piece fell off and I have no idea if thy fixed it and put it back. It used to be that when you exited the 2nd floor it was staring back at you.