Selected by CAP Curator Jennifer Gleim as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, this telescope, on loan from the Joseph Priestley House, is featured in The State Museum’s Pennsylvania Icons exhibit.

Discovery magnified: The brilliance of Joseph Priestley

British scientist and Unitarian theologian Joseph Priestley used this brass-and-glass telescope in his laboratory at his home in Northumberland County, Pa. By the 1790s, when Priestley’s telescope was most likely manufactured, scientists were able to use telescopes to accurately observe and measure the positions and movements of the stars.

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About Pennsylvania Treasures

In early 2012, The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission launched the Collections Advancement Project (CAP), a program to inventory and catalog our vast and significant holdings of art and artifacts. These efforts are resulting in better stewardship of our collections which represent Pennsylvania arts, culture, history, sciences, business and agriculture. As a component of the project, CAP curators have researched rarely exhibited artifacts and works of art. We are sharing these Pennsylvania Treasures with the public through weekly updates.

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