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Plaque Unveiled to Telescope-maker Thomas Grubb

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Plaque Unveiled to Telescope-maker Thomas Grubb

Plaque Unveiled to Telescope-maker Thomas Grubb
August 01
10:08 2018

John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Skills, Training, Innovation, Research and Development, recently unveiled a plaque commemorating the work and contribution of Thomas Grubb to astronomy in Ireland and worldwide. In the 1830s, Thomas Grubb pioneered telescope manufacturing from his base close to Charlemont Bridge on Dublin’s Grand Canal. Now, the National Committee for Science and Engineering Commemorative Plaques, the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) have come together to erect a permanent marker commemorating Grubb’s achievements. The plaque is located at the site of Grubb’s first engineering works in Dublin – on Canal Road in Dublin 6. The site is now Construction House, the headquarters of CIF.

Some of the equipment built by Grubb in the 1800s was on display during the plaque unveiling, as well as memorabilia from the Grubb Observatory, which was located at 1 Charlemont Street in Dublin (now the premises of the CIF).

Professor Tom Ray of DIAS – an expert in Astronomy – said: “Grubb’s work was of such high quality that much of the equipment the firm built is still in use today. A fine example of his work can be seen in Dunsink Observatory, part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. This telescope, known as the South Refractor, is still used by the public to view the stars and planets. Despite being 150 years old, its Victorian clock mechanism and mechanics function perfectly.“The instruments developed by the Grubb firm were critical in proving Einstein’s Theory of Gravity and revealing the presence of Dark Matter. A Grubb lens and coelostat – a device for feeding the lens with a stationary image of the sun – were used in the 1919 eclipse expedition that tested Einstein’s Theory; and were fundamental in proving Einstein correct. Both devices are now in the possession of DIAS.“The 19th Century was a time of huge innovation and excitement in astronomy, and Ireland played a key role. It is fitting, therefore, that a permanent marker has now been erected to commemorate Thomas Grubb, Ireland’s telescope-maker extraordinaire.”

CAPTION:

Pictured at the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the contribution of Thomas Grubb to astronomy in Ireland and worldwide were Minister of State for Skills, Training, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD (3rd from right); Dr Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS); Tom Parlon (2nd from left), Director General of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF); Professor Tom Ray (left), DIAS; and Dr Brian Smyth, Chairman, National Committee for Commemorative Plaques for Science and Technology (NCCPST).

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