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Yerkes Observatory

In 1895, Barnard joined the staff of Yerkes Observatory on Williams Bay, Wisconsin. A few years later, he narrowly missed serious injury when the platform supporting the 40-inch refractor telescope collapsed. The Bruce telescope at the observatory was built to facilitate Barnard's astronomical photography. In the early 1920s, Barnard was among the staff at Yerkes who assisted Albert Einstein in his attempts to prove his Theory of Relativity.

Yerkes Observatory
June 4, 1897

Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.


40 inch telescope



May 21, 1897

40-inch refractor telescope with S. W. Burnham on the platform.


Refractor Telescope


Refractor Telescope

Close-up of the tailpiece of the 40-inch refractor telescope.


letter, May 31, 1897



May 31, 1897

Letter from Barnard to H. H. Turner describing the collapse of the 40-inch refractor telescope platform.


collapsed floor


May 29, 1897

The collapsed floor of the 40-inch refractor telescope.


Barnard age 40



Barnard at about age 40. He had joined the Yerkes Observatory staff approximately two years before.



Yerkes residence



Barnard's residence on the shore Lake Geneva.


100 inch reflector telescope



100-inch reflector telescope, Mount Wilson, California. While on leave from Yerkes, Barnard was invited to use this telescope for his photographs of Mars.



Bruce telescope




The Bruce Telescope, designed and built to support Barnard's astronomical photography.


Einstein at Yerkes


May 6, 1921

Albert Einstein with the Yerkes Observatory staff. Einstein is in the back row, third from left. Barnard is the fourth man to the left of Einstein.


letter, June 15, 1921



June 15, 1921

Letter from Barnard to Rev. W. E. Glanville regarding Yerkes Observatory's experiments to try to prove Einstein's Theory of Relativity.