Photos of the interior of the Van Vleck Observatory are scarce beyond its two most photogenic locales: the library and the 20″ telescope dome. While this may not be too surprising, it has been somewhat disheartening as we try to imagine what it may have been like to, for example, work in the “computation room” in the 1920s.
This has made the recent discovery of a set of photos dated November, 1963, all the more remarkable. The set contains 9 photos, 8 of which are of these rarely photographed spaces. As you will see in this and subsequent posts, fifty years into its existence VVO still retained much of its original character, including a functioning dark room, transit observation room, and time services room. Some spaces still look remarkably similar as we approach the century mark, while others are quite a bit different.