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Spectroscopic Slides in Cardboard Box


This object is a medium-sized cardboard box containing a number of items. These include: Two tissue paper-wrapped packages of glass slides depicting spectral lines dating from 1902 (50.1-3), one squared-paper package of blank slides of the same size (50.3), two brass rings of different sizes each with screw threads around the rim (50.4), printed cards bearing notes like “AGE 14d, 1h” (50.5), and a smaller cardboard box containing metal clips (60.6), and an envelope containing one glass slide showing two dark images (50.7).

The box also contains a paper scrap of a chart and diagram apparently depicting the layout of a circular building (perhaps an observatory) and an unidentifiable map with survey lines shown.

Accession Number: 2018.ast.50.1-7

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Cardboard; Metal: Brass; Glass; Paper


The box has a paper label on, addressed to: “Professor C.A. Chant
Astronomy Department
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada”

On the modern moving stickers stuck to the exterior of the box: “1902 glass plates etc.”

On 50.1’s paper package there is a largely unreadable handwritten note beginning, “Glass…”

Dimensions (cm): Box: Length:


501.-50.3 – These slides show spectral lines of presumably astronomical objects. These show the chemical composition of those objects.

50.4 – Unknown

50.5 – Unknown, perhaps associated with the slides as times, or with another set of images.

50.6 – These metal clips are probably paperclips.

50.7 – It is unknown what this slide depicts.


Good: The slides are in good condition. The box and other paper and card components are worn and stained in places from use, travel and handling. There is a modern moving sticker stuck to the exterior of the box (possibly appended in the 2000s). The brass items are tarnished in spots.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Unknown (Various)

Date of Manufacture: 1902, Early 20th Century


This object was likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: