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Harvard College Observatory History in Images

This is a personal project collecting and documenting early images of Harvard College Observatory, focusing on the site at Observatory Hill (previously Summer House Hill). Buildings, instruments, people, and observations.

Disclaimer: all content here is solely my own views, and in no way represents the views of my employer, or anyone else. Also, I'm documenting things as I learn about them, so expect frequent errors. Corrections will occur without notice and without a changelog at this point.

David Sears

This page shows a list of all images tagged with "David Sears".

[link]1815 Portrait of David Sears

Image Credit: Gilbert Stuart

David Sears, 1815

Painting of philanthropist David Sears by Gilbert Stuart. Twenty eight years after this painting, David Sears will become the driving force in the donation campaign that builds Harvard Observatory and buys the Great Refractor. He makes two separate $5000 donations (about $150,000 2015 dollars).

The stone building that houses the Great Refractor is named the "Sears Tower" after him.

(Gilbert Stuart is a well-known portrait painter. His most famous work is an unfinished painting of George Washington, which was used as the basis for the one dollar bill. He did manage to complete several other portraits of George Washington, as well as John Adams, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams, who also plays a pivotal role in our little story.)

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