View of the Transit of Venus camp at Woodford, New South Wales, December 1874.

Sites for the observation of the Transit of Venus in New South Wales in 1874 were selected by NSW Government Astronomer Henry Chamberlain Russell. In addition to the Sydney Observatory, he chose sites at Woodford, Goulburn and Eden. Woodford was the home of Alfred Fairfax, Sydney businessman and amateur astronomer. The party was led by NSW Surveyor-General Philip Francis Adams, and the observers included L. Abington Vessey and Frederick Eccleston Du Faur, both of the Survey Department and George Denton Hirst, Sydney businessman and amateur astronomer.

The photographer on the expedition was Joseph Bischoff (circa 1832-1903), who would have also taken these photographs.

The instruments used included a photoheliograph by Dallmayer (operated by Hirst), Alfred Fairfax’s 4 ½ inch Schroeder telescope (Vessey), a 3 inch Cooke telescope from the Survey Department (Du Faur), a portable transit instrument, and sidereal clock and chronometer.

Description of Content

View of the Transit of Venus camp looking north. Buildings from left to right are: Photoheliograph hut; telegraph tent; transit dome; Schroder 4½ inch telescope dome; Cooke 3 inch (in open); P.F. Adams’s tent.

Physical Description

Digital image copied from the original, an albumen photograph pasted onto mounting board.

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