2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.

Exhibits, Programs, and Facilities of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science / Buhl Science Center

Classic exhibit showing Tycho Brahe's Mural Quadrant, in the
Hall of the Universe at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular 
Science.

This is a classic exhibit showing Tycho Brahe's Mural Quadrant,
displayed in Buhl Planetarium's Hall of the Universe.

Major Facilities of Buhl Planetarium

Internet Web Site Master Index for the History of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh

The following provides descriptions, and in some cases photographs, of some of the major exhibits displayed at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. A few of these exhibits were transferred to, and are now displayed in, The Carnegie Science Center. A few others remain in the Buhl Planetarium building.


"Buhl Explorer" Museum Exhibit Guides With Building Interior Maps

Guide of 1987 July 27 to 31: Front (including building interior map) * Rear

50th Year Anniversary Guide - Summer, 1989: Front (including building interior map) * Rear

Buhl Planetarium Building Floor Plans and Technical Specifications


Art in Pittsburgh’s Original Buhl Planetarium


Astronomical Special Events at Buhl Planetarium


Astronomy Exhibits - Astronomical Observatory Transparencies - As in the Planetarium Hallway, Buhl Planetarium's Astronomical Observatory (The People's Observatory) on the building's third floor also included astronomical transparencies. Due to the small size of the Observing Room, these plastic transparencies were installed in a long wooden case, mounted on the southern wall (wall opposite the Control Console for the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope). As with the transparencies in the four extra-large light-boxes of the south Planetarium hallway, these Observatory transparencies were updated in 1985, in anticipation of huge crowds for the telescopic viewings (as well as special planetarium show and exhibit) of the 1985-1986 apparition of Halley's Comet.


Astronomy Exhibits - Hall of the Universe (earlier known as the Hall of Astronomy) - located in Buhl's East Gallery; relocated to the hallways surrounding the Planetarium Theater in the mid-1980s. While the exhibits were in the Hall of the Universe, the Hall was kept dark with only violet and ultraviolet "black lights" for illumination (other than lights eminating from the exhibits) -

* List of murals and exhibits in the Hall of the Universe
(From the Buhl Planetarium Annual Report, 1972-1973)
* Photographs of some of the classic diorama and push-button exhibits in the Hall of the Universe.

Buhl Planetarium’s Hall of the Universe included twenty-one classic, "push-button" display-case exhibits (Astronomy: eighteen exhibits; Meteorology: three exhibits). The following five Astronomy exhibits are documented as being in Buhl Planetarium’ s, originally-titled, Hall of Astronomy, on the date of building dedication, and hence, are the property of the City of Pittsburgh:

a)       Stars do Move – Demonstrating precession, with changes in the star configuration of the Big Dipper over 200,000 years of time as an example.

b)       Twin StarsShowing movement of a binary star system.

c)       Light Takes Time to Travel – Regarding the speed of light.

d)       Tycho Brahe’s Mural Quadrant - Animated Diorama of Tycho Brahe's Observatory in Uraniborg, Denmark.

e)       Observatory of Hevelius at Danzig - Animated Diorama of Johannes Hevelius' Observatory in Danzig, Poland.

Buhl Planetarium's Hall of the Universe also included eight murals, which were viewed in the darkened hall under "black-light" (Special Note: The following mural photographs show five of the first seven murals displayed at their current home, the Hoover-Price Planetarium in Canton, Ohio) Each of the first seven paintings depict historical events influenced by astronomical phenomena:

* Aurora Borealis: The Northern Lights (6)
* Earth and Comet - from the Moon - (repainted in 1970 June): Photo 1 (6) *** Photo 2 *** Photo 3 (5)
Lunar landscape with Halley's Comet passing the Earth.
* Billions of Suns - Our Galaxy and Its Neighbors (6)
* Eclipse of the Moon
Total Lunar Eclipse, used by Christopher Columbus, to scare the natives of Jamaica to provide food and other provisions to his sailors.
* Eclipse of the Sun: Photo 1 (6) *** Photo 2
Depicts solar eclipse during the war between the Lydians and the Medes.
* The Great Nebula in Orion (6)
Orion Nebula, visible during the reign of the Roman Empire.
* The Great Globular Star Cluster in Hercules
Star cluster that occurred during prehistoric times.

Note that these first seven murals were painted, using black-light paint, by Benjamin Byrer, a native of Canton, Ohio. After being displayed in the Hall of the Universe at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s, they were donated to the Hoover-Price Planetarium in Canton, Ohio in 1994.

* The Sun and Its Nine Planets: Photo 1 *** Photo 2 with Info

Unlike the seven other murals, "The Sun and Its Nine Planets" consisted of cardboard cut-outs of the nine planets mounted on the rear (north) wall of the Hall of the Universe, above a huge painting of a small portion of the Sun.

In the mid-1980s, Buhl Planetarium management decided to use the Hall of the Universe for a new thematic exhibit on light, perception, and optics. This was the first of a series of three major exhibitions. The other two:
* "Sounds Sensational" - Regarding sound, which was also displayed in the East Gallery and the western section of the Great Hall. For this exhibit, as well as the earlier second light and perception exhibit, the Tesla Coil dismantled from its long-time location in the Great Hall and stored (not functional) in the southwest corner of the Little Science Theater (this occurred in the mid-1980s) (the Epideoscope was stored in the southeast corner of the Little Science Theater). From time-to-time, Tesla Coil enthusiasts (often members of Tesla Coil clubs) would come to see Buhl Planetarium's Tesla Coil and were disappointed to see it in storage. The Tesla Coil was restored to operation, in its original location in the western section of the Great Hall, about a year (1990) before the opening of The Carnegie Science Center (where plans were to display the Tesla Coil in "The Works Theater" on the fourth floor, along with the large Van de Graaff electrostatic generator and other presentations on electricity); however, to prevent damage to computers and other sensitive electronic instruments now in Buhl Planetarium, a Faraday Cage was built to house the Tesla Coil.
* "The Right Moves" - Exhibited in the Octagon Gallery (not including the space used by the Computer Learning Lab; also a small environmental exhibit was displayed in the lobby, at the bottom of the stairs from the Mezzanine Gallery, of "The Right Moves" exhibit.). This exhibit included a "pitching cage," where the speed of pitched baseballs was measured by a radar-gun, and a stationary bicycle that used air, from pedeling, to raise a large "beachball;" this exhibit was installed about a year after Duquesne Light Company technicians were directed to remove their long-time stationary bicycle exhibit (which used pedeling to light several light bulbs of different wattages) from the Mezzanine Gallery.

The Hall of the Universe classic, push-button and diorama exhibits were permanently moved to the east and west Planetarium hallways (creating what could have been referred to as a "hallway of the universe") in the mid-1980s, to make-way for a new exhibit on light, perception, and opitcs. Hall of the Universe exhibits had been located in the east and west Planetarium hallways, from time-to-time, when the Hall of the Universe had been temporarily used for annual exhibitions such as the Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engieering Fair and the Tropical Fish Show. These exhibits derived electrical power from the "light-boxes" in the Planetarium hallway walls, which had displayed black-and-white photographic plates of astronomical photographs. Regrettably, the push-button and diorama exhibits blocked viewing these light-box photographs, of the east and west hallways.

The Sun and Its Nine Planets mural was dismantled. It is unknown what happened to the cardboard cut-outs of the planets (although they were seen in a Planetarium hallway storage closet, for a while). The partial painting of the Sun, on the wall, was simply painted-over.

The other seven murals were simply placed in storage (at first, in the upper rafters of the Octagon Gallery, just east of the steps leading to the Mezzanine). until they were given back to the artist, after the complete closing of the original Buhl Planetarium building (then used as a tutorial center, from 1991 to 1994, to teach Carnegie Science Center Science and Computer classes, called the Allegheny Square Annex of The Carnegie Science Center, until Science Center classes were consolidated into the new Science Center building and the original Buhl Planetarium building was abandoned in February of 1994) in 1994. The artist, Benjamin Byrer, then donated the murals to the Hoover-Price Planetarium in his native Canton, Ohio. These murals now hang in the Planetarium's Jane Williams Mahoney Mezzanine.

Originally, the rumor had been that these murals had been moved to the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia in Beckley, West Virginia. However, Kent State University Physics and Astronomy Professor Francis G. Graham [Founder of the American Lunar Society, who had been a long-time Planetarium Lecturer in the original Buhl Planetarium] found these murals when visiting the Canton planetarium.

Each year, Mr. Byrer also displayed his "Barnwood Paintings" in Buhl Planetarium's Mezzanine Gallery, at the entrance to the very popular annual exhibition of the Miniature Railroad and Village, displayed in the Bowdish Gallery from November through February.

Now, this new exhibit on light, perception, and optics in the Hall of the Universe, which was renamed the East Gallery, should not to be confused with the similar thematic exhibit, "Image/Imagination," which had been installed in the western section of the first floor's Great Hall a few years earlier, in 1983. Image/Imagination had replaced the colorful, backlit PPG Industries "Masterpieces in Glass" exhibit (which was given back to PPG, possibly for installation in their just-built 40-floor office tower Downtown), which had included a glass version of a Picasso masterpiece. Other exhibits in this area were moved elsewhere or placed in storage. The long-time PPG optical illution exhibit, "The Phantom Planet," was moved to be adjacent to Image/Imagination.

* Hoover-Price Planetarium, Canton, Ohio - New home of original Hall of the Universe murals.

* Photographs of the Hall of the Universe:

Hall of the Universe used for a rehearsal for the play,
"There's a Message for You from the Man in the Moon," produced in May of 1981.

1950 Miniature Railroad in Hall of the Universe

Small miniature railroad display (before Charles Bowdish's Miniature Railroad and Village was moved to Buhl Planetarium from the Bowdish home in Brookville, Pennsylvania) set-up in the Hall of the Universe during the 1950 Christmas season.

Meteorites Displayed in the Hall of the Universe: Link 1 *** Link 2 (5).
Diorama, at the entrance to the Hall of the Universe, which displayed large meteorite and two smaller meteorites, all from the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona. Later, the large meteorite was displayed outside of the diorama, so visitors could touch it; the two smaller meteorites were placed in storage. More Information.

Classic Diorama and Push-Button Exhibits in
The Hall of the Universe

Photographs of some of the classic exhibits in the Hall of the Universe.
( List of all Hall of the Universe exhibits
From the Buhl Planetarium Annual Report, 1972-1973)

Observatory of Hevelius
Photographs of exhibit: Link 1 *** Link 2 (5).

Exhibit diorama of the first great observatory constructed following the invention of the telescope, constructed by Johannes Hevelius (brewer and councillor of the city of Danzig, Germany). Started in 1644, it was gradually enlarged until its destruction by fire in 1679. This diorama is a reproduction from a plate in the first part of Hevelius' book Machinae Coelestis (Danzig, 1673). This plate and diorama shows this observatory at its best. As the sky darkens, the telescope is being pointed at the Moon, of which Hevelius was the first to make a serious study. Hevelius' young wife (his second wife, whom he married a year after the death of his first wife, Katherine), Elisabetha, was of great assistance to Hevelius' observatory work (documented in two other book plates); after his death, she also edited many of his unpublished writings. This diorama was especially made for display at the opening of Buhl Planetarium, on 1939 October 24, by Laurits Christian Eichner and Walter Faureau; it remained on public display until Buhl Planetarium closed as a public museum on 1991 August 31.

Tycho Brahe's Mural Quadrant
Photographs of exhibit: Link 1 *** Link 2 (5).

Diorama of the last and finest of the pre-telescope observatories, operated by Tycho Brahe from 1576 to 1597 on the island Hveen (located in the Sound between Denmark and Sweden). One of his most important instruments was the large mural quadrant, illustrated in Tycho's Astronomiae Instauratae Mechanica. In this mechanical diorama, Tycho is shown on the steps, moving his head and arms as he adjusts the sight. The hands of the clock move and the man in front, holding a lighted candle, counts time by moving his left hand. This diorama was especially made for display at the opening of Buhl Planetarium, on 1939 October 24, by Laurits Christian Eichner and Walter Faureau; it remained on public display until Buhl Planetarium closed as a public museum on 1991 August 31.
Pelling, Nick. "Review of “On Tycho’s Island”..."
ciphermysteries.com 2008 Sept. 19.

Weight Comparisons of Sun, Earth, and Moon
Photographs of exhibit: Link 1 *** Link 2 (5).

This was another of the classic, "push-botton" exhibits at Buhl Planetarium. Originally displayed in the Hall of the Universe, it was moved to the Planetarium Hallway when the Hall of the Universe (then called the East Gallery) was used for the "Sounds Sensational" exhibit in the mid-1980s. "Weight Comparisons" continued on display until the Buhl Planetarium closed as a public museum on 1991 August 31. The first photograph of "Weight Comparisons" (Link 1) was taken from a book titled, Theater of the Stars, published on 1956 February 1.

Window Into Space (5).
Shows the position of the Sun of our Solar System, in relation to other stars.

Giant Star Sizes (5).
A comparison of the sizes of stars.

The Planet Mars (5).
The Planet Mars is shown with topographic features as known in the 1950s..

The Planet Earth (5).
The Planet Earth is shown with other Solar System planets in the background.

* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 24, 25, 26, 27, 51, 56, and 57.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 25, pages 16, 17, 18, and 19.
* Photograph of Exhibits Staff offices, on temporary balcony erected in the East Gallery, during planning and construction of The Carnegie Science Center.
* See "Theater of the Stars."
* See "The People's Observatory."
* See Telescope, Newtonian Non-usable Replica.
* See Astronomy Exhibits - Astronomical Observatory Transparencies.
* See Astronomy Exhibits - Mezzanine Paintings
* See Astronomy Exhibits - Planetarium Hallway (Hallway Wrapping Around Theater of the Stars).
* See Orrery of Solar System.
* See Radio Astronomy Exhibit.
* See Astronomical Special Events at Buhl Planetarium


Astronomy Exhibits - Mezzanine Paintings - Astronomical paintings by Pennsylvania artist and architect Daniel Owen Stephens were mounted on the northern wall of Buhl Planetarium's Mezzanine Gallery. These paintings were installed for the Buhl Planetarium's dedication on 1939 October 24, hence these paintings are the property of the City of Pittsburgh, following the Buhl Foundation's gifting of the building and contents to the City in October of 1939.

Each painting was displayed behind glass. Buhl management feared that humidity, inside the glass of each painting, could damage the paintings. Hence, until the mid-1980s, Floor Aides were assigned to log the temperature and relative humidity of the Mezzanine, several times a day. Units which combined a thermometer and a hygrometer were mounted in several places in the Buhl Planetarium building, including on the northern Mezzanine wall. Several times a day, a Floor Aide recorded the temperature and relative humidity readings on a special form, from each unit in the building.

* List of paintings mounted on the northern wall of Buhl Planetarium's Mezzanine Gallery.


Astronomy Exhibits - Planetarium Hallway (Hallway Wrapping Around Theater of the Stars) - The hallway on the east, west, and south sides of the Buhl Planetarium's Theater of the Stars was used for many exhibits over the years; there is no north hallway, as the north wall of the Theater of the Stars is an exterior wall. Originally, metal light-boxes, imbedded into the walls, allowed the display of large astronomically-related photograph transparencies on glass plates, back-lit by incandescent light bulbs.

In the east hallway, the light-boxes were imbedded into the east wall. These light-boxes still exist. They are being used by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to simply display back-lighted one-color plates.

In the west hallway, the light-boxes were imbedded into the west wall. Both the east and west hallways were kept fairly dark, with small tube lights in the center of the hallways, to allow better viewing of these glass plate transparencies. The east and west hallways, each, also included three exit-only doors from the Planetarium Theater. In the east hallway, the three doors were located along the west wall at the northern end of the hallway near the two emergency-exit doors to outside (and staff entrance with a door-bell).

Directly across from the Theater exit doors in the east hallway were two entrance/exit doors to the Hall of the Universe. Mounted on the wall, between the Hall of the Universe doors and the emergency-exit doors to outside, was the electronic security system entrance station (Sonitrol security company), installed in the Spring of 1983. Once the security system was installed, it was activated (i.e, no staff in the building) each day from Midnight until 7:00 in the morning (perhaps a little later on Sundays). Previously, there was always, at least, one person in the building (usually custodians late at night) every day of the year (including Christmas Day, the one day of the year Buhl Planetarium was closed to the public). The author staffed the building, alone, for security reasons for several hours on Christmas Day in 1982 and New Year's Day in 1983.

In the west hallway, the three Theater exit doors were located along the east wall at the northern end of the hallway near the two emergency-exit doors to outside.

The south hallway, which included the three metal entrance doors, each with large glass windows (covered inside the doors with shades), to the Theater of the Stars, had two extra-large light-boxes with astronomical glass-plate transparencies on each side of the entrance doors.

From Buhl Planetarium's opening in 1939, until 1985, all of these glass-plate transparency photograph displays were monochrome (i.e. black-and-white) photographs. In 1985, in anticipation of huge crowds for the telescopic viewings (as well as special planetarium show and exhibit) of the 1985-1986 apparition of Halley's Comet, the transparencies in the four extra-large light-boxes, in the south hallway, were replaced with newer color photographs.

At certain times, over the years, the glass-plate transparencies, in the east and west planetarium hallways, were not displayed. This occurred whenever other exhibits were displayed in these hallways, including the multi-paneled NASA exhibit in the 1960s and 1970s, and also when the classic Hall of the Universe display-case exhibits were moved from the Hall of the Universe into these two hallways. These exhibits required electricity, so the Buhl maintenance staff used the electricity from the transparency light-boxes to power the exhibits; hence, these exhibits were always displayed on the same side as the transparency light-boxes.

The classic display-case exhibits, from the Hall of the Universe, were moved into these two hallways, whenever the Hall of the Universe was used for special exhibits or programs. This included in the Spring, during the annual Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair, until the 1980s when the Science Fair was publicly displayed at the gymnasium of the Community College of Allegheny County, Allegheny Campus (located a few blocks west of Buhl Planetarium), during the college's annual Spring break. The exhibits were moved to the two hallways permanently, when it was decided to transform the East Gallery into an exhibit on the science of light and perception. A few years later, a temporary balcony deck was constructed over most of the East Gallery, to house offices for staff members planning the construction of The Carnegie Science Center.

The following links are to some of the glass-plate transparencies used in the Planetarium hallway light-boxes:

* Total Eclipse of the Sun (5).
* Photograph of the Moon (5) taken through the the famous 100-inch Hooker Reflector Telescope, used by Edwin Hubble to discover the general expansion of the Universe at Mount Wilson Observatory in southern California.
* Craters on the Moon (5).
* Head of Halley's Comet, as viewed in 1910 (5).
* Halley's Comet (5).
* Several Views of Planet Saturn (5).
* Constellation Orion the Hunter (5).
* Whirlpool Galaxy (5).
* Horsehead Nebula (5).
* Coalsack Dark Nebula (5)

The Hall of the Universe classic, push-button and diorama exhibits were permanently moved to the east and west Planetarium hallways (creating what could have been referred to as a "hallway of the universe") in the mid-1980s, to make-way for a new exhibit on light, perception, and opitcs. Hall of the Universe exhibits had been located in the east and west Planetarium hallways, from time-to-time, when the Hall of the Universe had been temporarily used for annual exhibitions such as the Pittsburgh Regional School .

Science and Engieering Fair and the Tropical Fish Show. These exhibits derived electrical power from the "light-boxes" in the Planetarium hallway walls, which had displayed black-and-white photographic plates of astronomical photographs. Regrettably, the push-button and diorama exhibits blocked viewing these light-box photographs, of the east and west hallways.

During the 1960s and 1970s, a NASA-sponsored exhibit, describing the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo manned space missions, was mounted in the east and west Planetarium hallways--again, being lighted by using electricity from the light-boxes and blocking the transparency light-boxes.


Astronomy Exhibits - Radio Astronomy Exhibit.


BioCorner Embryology (Chick-Hatching) Exhibit - One of the few Life Sciences exhibits or programs at Buhl Planetarium, which hatched chicks (and occasionally ducklings) in public view each weekend year-round. This exhibit started in May of 1983 and continued until about 1990.


Clock - Grand Clock in Great Hall at Planetarium Entrance


Cosmos Planetarium Show and Exhibit - In 1980, noted Cornell University Astronomer Carl Sagan broadcast a 13-part television series, on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), titled "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," which sought to educate the public on the mysteries of the Universe. Companion media to the television series included a planetarium show and a temporary museum exhibit, in addition to a book. Buhl Planetarium hosted both the planetarium show and the temporary museum exhibit.

* Photograph of the scale-model of the ancient Library at Alexandria, Egypt (5) as displayed in the Buhl Planetarium exhibit. Carl Sagan discussed the Library at Alexandria during the first episode (titled "The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean") of the television series.


Eclipse (Solar and Lunar) Events at Buhl Planetarium

Eclipse of the Sun / Solar Eclipse: Tips For Safe Viewing


50 Earth Revolutions...and Counting - Exhibit of Buhl Planetarium history displayed during the 50th anniversary year, 1989, of Buhl Planetarium. "A panoramic exhibit celebrating 50 years of service to the community and anticipating the future as The Carnegie Science Center." The exhibit was displayed in Buhl Planetarium's lower-level Mezzanine Gallery (which served as the entrance to the Great Miniature Railroad and Village, displayed at Buhl Planetarium from November through February each year). This exhibit followed the Mezzanine Gallery exhibition of the Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt, which continued to be displayed in the East Gallery (formerly Hall of the Universe) through March of 1989.
* Buhl Planetarium "Buhl Explorer" Museum Exhibit Guides, given to the public upon entering the building, describes this exhibit in the 1989 guide.
* 2004 letter nominating Buhl Planetarium to be a City Designated Historic Structure, which mentions that the author first proposed historic designation for the Buhl Planetarium building in early 1989 (for Buhl Planetarium's 50th anniversary).


Friendship Quilt, Great Pittsbugh - See Quilt - Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt.


Gemmaux "Masterpieces in Glass" Exhibit - Very colorful, backlit exhibit, which used glass to represent major masterpieces in art, including a Picasso masterpiece! It was located along the southern wall in the western side of the first floor's Great Hall, until the Image/Imagination exhibit was installed in 1982 (although five of these masterpieces were removed on 1979 March 19, to make room for the "Man and His Ocean Environment" Oceanography exhibit).

This exhibit was sponsored by PPG Industries Incorporated, which removed all of these masterpieces in 1979 or 1982. It is believed that these masterpieces were later used in the PPG Place Tower and office complex, constructed near Market Square in 1984.

Gemmaux masterpieces included titles such as "La Petite Corbeille," "La Petite Aquarium," "Bouquet," "Voiles Heureceuses," and "Orphee Aux Feuillages."


Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt - See Quilt - Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt.


Image/Imagination - Light and perception exhibit, mounted as a permanent exhibit in the western side of the first floor's Great Hall [between the new (1983) Discovery Gift Shop and the large Mercator's Projection Map of the World] in June of 1983; it continued on display until Buhl Planetarium closed as a public museum on 1991 August 31. The installation of Image/Imagination necessitated the relocation or retirement of several smaller exhibits, including the Oceanography and Radio Astronomy exhibits, and also the Rand McNally World Globe which was moved to the center of the Great Hall near the front doors. Prior to the installation of Image/Imagination, this end of the Great Hall was very colorful due to the Gemmaux "Masterpieces in Glass" Exhibit (which included a Picasso painting represented in glass!).

* Description and other information - Aide's Reference Manual, 1983 February 28, pages 20, 21, and 22.

* Photographs of entrance to Image/Imagination:
** Entrance shown in bottom of photo; large Mercator's Projection World Map shown above.
** Entrance shown extreme right of photo; Discovery Gift Shop shown in center of photo.

Image/Imagination was installed as a permanent exihibit in 1983, after the successful run of an Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) traveling exhibit, from the Exploratorium in San Francisco, called "Looking at The Light," which was viewed in Buhl Planetarium's Octagon Gallery in January and February of 1982.

The Image/Imagination Exhibit included a "Shadow Wall," a phosphorescent wall where visitors' shadows would be stored, for a short time, after a flash of light produced the shadow on the wall. Three light sources each used a different primary color (red, yellow, blue); the overlapping of color light sources produced additional colors. Buhl's "Shadow Wall," installed with the rest of the Image/Imagination exhibit in June of 1983, was one of the first such permanent, phosphorescence museum exhibits. The "Shadow Wall" had previously been shown at Buhl Planetarium during the "Looking at The Light," traveling exhibit in 1982. According to a Children's Museum Professionals electronic mail group message written by Paul Orselli on 2010 September 29, the very first "Shadow Wall" was installed in the Ontario Science Centre in the early 1970s.

Image/Imagination should not be confused with a second light and perception exhibit exhibited in the mid-1980s.

In addition to the original modules of "Image/Imagination," one earlier exhibit was incorporated as an additional module of "Image/Imagination." "The Phantom Planet" consisted of a parabolic mirror and a light source, in such a configuration in a large box thus that it appeared that the image of a "planet' (i.e. small ball made to look like a planet) was suspended in mid-air. Children would try to grab the "planet," but find that their fingers went right through the image. Then, they could look down into the box to see the actual object ("planet").

"Image/Imagination" was funded by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh. "The Phantom Planet" had been funded by the PPG Industries Foundation.


Laser Science Exhibit (Laser Images / Laserium), Laserium Laser-Light Concerts, & Other Laser Shows at Buhl Planetarium


Meteorite [Iron-Nickel] - Fifth largest meteorite fragment (746 pounds/340 kilograms) from Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona. (Meteorite now displayed outside of the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium at The Carnegie Science Center.). When The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science was first dedicated on 1939 October 24, the meteorite was one of Buhl's "talking exhibits."

* Meteorites Displayed in Hall of the Universe: Link 1 *** Link 2 (5).
Diorama, at the entrance to the Hall of the Universe, which displayed large meteorite and two smaller meteorites, all from the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona. Later, the large meteorite was displayed outside of the diorama, so visitors could touch it; the two smaller meteorites were placed in storage.
** Description and other information
** Photograph of largest Buhl meteorite specimen, from Barringer Meteor Crater, at The Carnegie Science Center
** Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona and Geologist Daniel Barringer.

* Other meteorite specimens from the original Buhl Planetarium collection:
** Image of a slice of the Merkoup Meteorite (5), from Namibia, which was also in the Buhl Planetarium meteorite collection; now in the collection of The Carnegie Science Center.
** The following two photographs were provided by Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University, from his attendance at the annual Astronomy Weekend of The Carnegie Science Center, 2012 March 24 and 25:
*** Professor Graham poses with the Merkoup Meteorite (5) now known to be part of the Gibeon Meteorite.
*** Photograph of other meteorites from the original Buhl Planetarium collection (5). On the left is a Canyon Diabolo Meteorite; directly to the right is an unnamed whole meteorite; behind the unnamed meteorite is a slice of the Gibeon Meteorite.

* Other Meteorites (not part of the original Buhl Planetarium collection) displayed in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems of The Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

News Regarding Meteorites and Meteors

Walsh, Glenn A. "Meteorite From Calif. Fireball Found." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 Oct. 22.
Buhl Planetarium Meteorite: Fifth largest meteorite fragment from Barringer Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona.


Micro Zoo - Although Astronomy, and Earth and Space Sciences, were always a major concentration, from the very beginning The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science has presented exhibits and programs from many different sciences. Buhl primarily delved in the Physical Sciences, leaving Life Sciences to the Pittsburgh Zoo in Highland Park, Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland, and later to the National Aviary in Allegheny Commons West Park(two blocks west of Buhl), and Round Hill County Exhibition Farm in Elizabeth Township. However, from time-to-time Buhl did delve into Life Sciences. The Micro Zoo was Buhl's first Life Sciences presentation. The Micro Zoo used an epideoscope(early overhead projector with a microscope) to show miniature life on the projection screen in the Lecture Hall(later known as the Little Science Theater). The epideoscope remains at Buhl, although it has not been used in more than thirty years; it is unknown whether this instrument is still functional.
* Photograph of Epideoscope *** Projection Directions (page 82).
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, and 82.
* Additional information


"Millions" Mathematics Exhibit - "Millions" was a 15-module, participatory exhibit on numbers and mathematics, which was displayed at Buhl Planetarium from June 22 through August 2 in 1987. This temporary exhibit came to Buhl Planetarium through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Ancillary activities included a simulated casino, pre-school area with attribute blocks, and a Family Math Workshop. This exhibit also gave rise to the Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt, which was displayed to the public in 1988 and 1989. During the "Millions" exhibit, visitors were invited to sign a 2.25-inch fabric square, which would later be sewn together with many similar squares to form the Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt.
* Cubic-Meter module - Photograph of module "Cubic-Meter" (5), in the southwest corner of the Mezzanine Gallery, which displays in three dimensions the actual size of a cubic-meter of space. Standing next to this module, in the photograph, is Buhl Planetarium Floor Supervisor Jeff Sweeney (pictured in staff lab coat), as a comparison of scale to the cubic-meter.
* Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt
* Buhl Planetarium "Buhl Explorer" Museum Exhibit Guides, given to the public upon entering the building, which describe the "Millions" exhibit (in the 1987 guide) and The Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt (in the 1989 and 1987 guides).


Display of Minerals, Rocks, and Fossils from Six-State Region
Produced by the Mineral and Lapidary Society of Pittsburgh


Miniature Railroad and Village(Now displayed at The Carnegie Science Center) -
* Photographs at The Carnegie Science Center
* History of the Miniature Railroad and Village
* NEW Web Site of the Miniature Railroad and Village at The Carnegie Science Center


Mural - The Rise of Steel Technology by Nat H. Youngblood (Commissioned by the United States Steel Corporation), painted over an existing steel industry mural on the south wall of Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall in 1959. The original steel industry mural, originally displayed in the U.S. Steel Corporation's pavillion in the 1939-1940 World's Fair in New York City, was moved to Buhl Planetarium in late 1940 or in 1941.
:
* Images:
On south wall of Buhl's Great Hall, over public entrance
Image 2 *** Image 3
Close-up Image
Close-up Image of Wenastern Section of Mural
* Photograph of the Great Hall in the early 1980s. (5).
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 25, pages 4, 5, and 6.
* According to an electronic mail message (Thursday, May 10, 2012, 3:27 PM) from Pittsburgh native David Erskine, Mr. Erskine's great-uncle Theodore Almendinger, a Pittsburgh artist and painter-of-billboards for Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising in the 1950s, assisted Nat Youngblood painting this mural. Mr. Erskine said, his great-uncle "Executed a mural for Nat Youngblood, who was afraid to work "high -up" on scaffolds......Uncle Ted did high painting all his career. I can still remember Uncle Ted up there, with Nat calling him down to confer now and then."
* Special lighting, from the ceiling, was mounted and directed onto The Rise of Steel Technology Mural. A special portable control unit could control this lighting. One section of the mural, at a time, could be lighted, to allow a tour guide to discuss a certain section of the mural. This portable control unit was wired into the large metal air-intake, located on the west side of the main entrance doors; this location eventually became the office for the Discovery Gift Shop. A fairly long wire allowed this portable control unit to be taken into the Great Hall, for use by a tour guide.
* In 1959, The Rise of Steel Technology mural was painted over the original steel industry mural by locat artist (Washington County, Pennsylvania) Nat Youngblood. However, some people at that time, including Buhl Planetarium Floor Manager John Miller, were quite upset with the obliteration of the original steel industry mural, by painting over with a new mural.
* Along with the historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector ( oldest operable major planetarium projector in the world !), 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope (second largest such operating telescope), and the large Mercator's Projection Map of the World (considered the largest such map, when first installed at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City), this mural was dismantled and placed in storage in October of 2002. At first, this mural was stored in the Buhl Planetarium building.

The Carnegie Science Center did not propose moving the mural to the new Science Center building {as they proposed for the other three artifacts}. Actually, this is the second time that the Science Center management decided not to display this mural in the new Science Center building. When the new Science Center building was being constructed, it was decided to leave the mural in the original Buhl Planetarium building, which was then planned to be used as a tutorial center (and retitled "Carnegie Science Center, Allegheny Square Annex"), home to the Science Center's Science and Computer classes (as the new building, originally, was built without classroom space). One Buhl Planetarium visitor was quite upset when she learned that the Nat Youngblood mural would not be moved to the new building; she made her displeasure known to Science Center management. However, Science Center Director Alphonse DeSena felt (and he said so) that if this woman wanted the mural moved to the new Science Center building so badly, she should pay for it, or find funding to pay for such a move.

Through an agreement with the City of Pittsburgh (legal owner of this mural), two sections of this mural were one of the highlights on display (for three months, beginning 2005 March 11, each Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; suggested donation was three dollars per adult) in the new "Reel Steel" exhibit, in the third floor exhibit gallery of the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area/Museum's Bost Building in Homestead, Pennsylvania (a suburb just south of Pittsburgh, across the Monongahela River from the City neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Duck Hollow, and the new neighborhood of Summerset at Frick Park). In an agreement with the City of Pittsburgh, it is being preserved by the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area until it can be fully restored.

Also, seats from the Buhl Planetarium's Theater of the Stars (removed from Buhl Planetarium in 2002, at the beginning of the Children's Museum renovation project) are used in this third floor exhibit gallery, for films and cartoons (starring characters such as Donald Duck and Joe Magarac) regarding the history of the steel industry.

Sciullo, Maria. "Obituary: Nat Youngblood /
Popular local painter, newspaper art director for 30 years."
Obituary.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2009 Dec. 22.
Nat H. Youngblood painted "The Rise of Steel Technology" mural, commissioned by the
United States Steel Corporation, mounted on the south wall of the first floor's
Great Hall of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


Murals - Satellite Murals mounted on the wall at the eastern end of the Great Hall, first floor - The murals displayed Explorer VI ("Paddle-Wheel" Satellite), launched 1959 August 7, and the first successful weather satellite, TIROS-1, launched 1960 April 1. These murals were mounted in the early 1960s. The murals were removed in the mid-1980s, to make-way for the logo for the new "Sounds Sensational" exhibit in the East Gallery (formerly Hall of the Universe). This section of wall was replaced with a large window (to allow a view of the historic Allegheny Regional Branch of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh), during rehabilitation of the building in 2003 for use by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.
* These murals can be seen in the background of this photograph (5) of Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall in the early 1980s.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 25, pages 14 and 15.
* World War II paratroopers combat mural existed on this wall prior to mounting of satellite murals.


Mural - World War II - U.S. Army WAC Corporal Eva Mirabel painted a World War II paratroopers combat scene on the wall at the eastern end of the Great Hall on the first floor of Buhl Planetarium, for the Army Air Force Air Power Show which opened at Buhl Planetarium on 1944 October 11. In addition to showing the public the scientific facilities of the Army Air Force used in fighting World War II, this show was also used to sell War Bonds to help fund the War. The following newspaper article documents the painting of this mural (Scroll above the article to see a photograph, with caption, of WAC Corporal Eva Mirabel and a small portion of the mural.):

"Mural for Planetarium Painted by Indian WAC."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1944 Oct. 9: 13.
(Scroll above the article to see a photograph, with caption, of WAC Corporal Eva Mirabel and a small portion of the mural.)

* World War II paratroopers mural was replaced, in the early 1960s, by murals of two early satellites launched into Earth orbit.


NASA History of Manned Spaceflight Exhibit - During the 1960s and 1970s, Buhl Planetarium hosted several exhibit modules from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), regarding the beginning of America's Manned Space Program. And, twice [Spring of 1970 and the Summer of 1989 (Buhl Planetarium's 50th anniversary year)], Buhl displayed a Moon rock brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts.

Most of the NASA exhibit modules were displayed in the hallways around the Theater of the Stars. Using electricity from the transparency boxes along the Planetarium Hallway walls, these astronomical photograph transparencies were not viewable during the several years the NASA exhibits were on display. These exhibit modules included scale-versions of Mercury and Gemini space capsules, as well as a life-sized replica of a Gemini astronaut space suit.

Additionally, a "NASA Man on the Moon" Exhibit was displayed in the first floor's Great Hall; this included scale-models of the Apollo Command Module and the Apollo-Saturn 5 launch vehicle. In the Spring of 1970, the Moon rock was displayed in the Great Hall, near the entrance to the building. In the Summer of 1989, the Moon rock was displayed in the East Gallery (formerly the Hall of the Universe).

* Photographs of the "NASA Man on the Moon" exhibit, showing the location, on the Moon, of the landing site of Apollo 11:

Photo 1 (5) *** Photo 2 (5)


Orrery of Solar System: Photograph of Exhibit from 1977 (5). - Mechanical "planetarium" which shows the movements of the seven planets closest to the Sun, within a transparent celestial sphere. One of Buhl Planetarium's original exhibits (and, hence, property of the City of Pittsburgh), the Orrery was traded to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute for a Lighthouse Beacon in the 1970s. As of 1998 July, the Orrery on display at Franklin Institute was one acquired from Germany. At this time, a damaged Orrery, missing the celestial sphere, was seen by the author in staff offices below Fels Planetarium. At first, the author thought this could be the original Buhl Planetarium Orrery. However, after seeing a photograph of the Buhl Planetarium Orrery, the author is convinced that the broken and smaller Orrery at Franklin Institute is not the original Buhl Planetarium Orrery. It is unknown the current location and use of the original Buhl Planetarium Orrery.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 50, 54, and 55.
* Further information about an orrery (Wikipedia)
* FAQ question about an orrery
* On-Line Orrery Animation (can be seen in Copernican or Tychonian viewpoints).
* More Ancient Planetary Model Animations.


Painting - Comet Halley: Image 1 *** Image 2 *** Image 3
This painting of Halley's Comet was purchased in England by Willard F. Rockwell, Jr., then Founder and Chairman of the fairly new Pittsburgh-based (Two Chatham Center) aerospace corporation called Astrotech International; Mr. Rockwell had formerly been Chairman of Rockwell International which was based in Pittsburgh for many years (50th floor of the U.S. Steel Building, after several years in the 24-floor North American Rockwell Building at Fifth Avenue and Wood Street--originally the Farmers' National Bank Building--which was later demolished for construction of a four-floor Lazarus Department Store), until the 1990s.

Willard F. Rockwell, Jr. found this painting in England in 1985 (at the time of the 1985-1986 passing of Halley's Comet through the inner Solar System). He was so impressed with the painting, he bought it with the intention of donating it to Buhl Planetarium. And, so he did; in fact, it was transported to Buhl Planetarium in Mr. Rockewll's limousine !

However, this painting did not appeal to the management of Buhl Planetarium. Of course, they were not going to reject such a generous gift, particularly from a corporate leader who headed a local aerospace firm. So, they instructed Jane Werner (who would become Head of the Exhibits Department in 1987 January; in 2004, she was Executive Director of the Children's Museum, when that museum began utilizing the Buhl Planetarium building) to mount the painting on the east wall of the Little Science Theater/Lecture Hall, apparently where most members of management would not have to see it on a regular basis! It was purposely forgotten, when the Science Center management moved to The Carnegie Science Center in 1991. So, it remained in the Little Science Theater until the Children's Museum renovated that space into a new exhibit gallery in 2004.

When the City of Pittsburgh took an inventory of their Buhl Planetarium assets, on 2002 January 23, this was inventoried as "Asset #21 Painting Comet" with "Photo #19 [original photograph: 453x353x16M jpeg]" on Page 22 of the "Buhl Planetaruim Assets" inventory book.


Pendulum - Foucault Pendulum - The Foucault Pendulum provides a classic demonstration that the Earth rotates on its axis. Contained within a beautiful brass and marble Pendulum Pit, the true cardinal points of the compass are displayed below the swing of the Pendulum.

The Foucault Pendulum is one of the original exhibits [and, was one of Buhl's "talking exhibits"] in The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, on display when the building and all contents were dedicated and gifted to the City of Pittsburgh by the Buhl Foundation on 1939 October 24. The steel pendulum wire was fabricated at the Jones and Laughlin Steel Works on the South Side. To ensure there would be no bias in the swing of the pendulum, this long wire was transported from the South Side Works to Buhl Planetarium completely straight, with no bends or curves in the wire. A special truck permit had to be secured from the city, to allow this specially-long load to travel over city streets, to reach Buhl Planetarium.

A small wooden model of the Foucault Pendulum was often displayed on a special mounting, attached to the Pendulum Pit brass railing. When not in use, this model was kept in the electrical closet, where circuit-breakers for the Great Hall were located. Floor staff members would use this model to clearly demonstrate how the Foucault Pedulum shows the rotation of the Earth. This wooden model was originally built as a student project, displayed in Buhl Planetarium's Science Fair in 1951.

It continued on display to the public until the building closed as a public museum on 1991 August 31. However, as the Buhl Planetarium building continued to be utilized for the Science and Computer classes of The Carnegie Science Center, the Foucault Pendulum continued on display to the students of these classes and their families until the building was completely closed in February of 1994.

In the mid-1990s, the Foucault Pendulum was placed on public display in a new Pendulum exhibit, in the eastern section of the second floor of The Carnegie Science Center; the original Pendulum Pit remained at Buhl Planetarium. In October of 2002, the Foucault Pendulum was returned to the Great Hall of Buhl Planetarium. The Foucault Pendulum resumed public display, surrounded by a traveling exhibit entitled, "Can You Tell Me How To Get to Sesame Street?", on 2003 February 15, under the auspices of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

Famous French physicist Jean Bernard Leon Foucault developed the Foucault Pendulum in 1851. Foucault also developed the siderostat-type telescope, the primary instrument of The People's Observatory, Buhl Planetarium's Astronomical Observatory.

* Images at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science:

Image 1 *** Image 2 *** Image 3[enlargement of Image 2]
Image on 1939-era postcard - Caption at bottom of photograph: "The Buhl Planetarium's Foucault Pendulum, Pittsburgh, Pa."
* Photographs while on display at The Carnegie Science Center: Photo 1 *** Photo 2
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 15, 51, and 56.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 25, pages 11, 12, and 13.
* Biographies of Jean Bernard Leon Foucault By Dr. William Tobin, Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand:
French Language Biography [2002 October]: Léon Foucault. Le miroir et le pendule
English Language Biography [2003 October]: The Life and Science of Léon Foucault. The Man who Proved the Earth Rotates

Walsh, Glenn A. "Buhl Planetarium Poem by Ann Curran." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 May 3.
Poem "At the Late Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science," written by Pittsburgh Poet and
former Buhl Planetarium employee Ann Curran, who held a poetry reading at the Main Branch of
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on 2012 April 15.
Foucault Pendulum remembrance in poem.

Madrigal, Alexis. "Foucault’s Pendulum Dented in Museum Mishap."
Wired Magazine On-Line 2010 May 18.
Regarding snapping of Foucault Pendulum cable at Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris.

Williams, Candy. "Children's Museum celebrates return of pendulum."
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2005 February 22.

Thomas, Lillian. "Foucault pendulum helps us get the drift of Earth's spin."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2005 February 21.


The Phantom Planet - See Image/Imagination


Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt, Great - See Quilt - Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt.


Quilt - Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt - The Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt grew out of a traveling exhibit at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, in 1987, called "Millions." Buhl Planetarium staff, friends, visitors, and several Pittsburgh-area public officials and celebrities signed their names on 2.25-inch fabric squares of many colors, which were then sewn together to make one huge quilt! As with the "Millions" temporary exhibit, the idea was to show how many, many signed squares (well, in the case of the Quilt not literally millions, but definitely thousands) could come together to make one quilt. The project began in July of 1987 with the last squares being signed in September of 1988. The Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt was presented to the public in Buhl Planetarium's lower-level Mezzanine Gallery (which served as the entrance to the Great Miniature Railroad and Village, displayed at Buhl Planetarium from November through February each year) on 1988 October 31 and stayed on display until March of 1989. The exhibit was moved from the Mezzanine Gallery to the East Gallery (formerly Hall of the Universe) in 1989 to make-way for the Mezzanine Gallery display of the exhibit, "50 Earth Revolutions...and Counting," which celebrated the history of Buhl Planetarium during Buhl's 50th anniversary year.
* History of the Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt, including three photographs of the Quilt on display in Buhl Planetarium's Mezzanine Gallery in the Autumn of 1988.
* Photograph of Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt on display in Monroeville in the Summer of 2008.
* "Millions" traveling exhibit, which was the impetus for the Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt.
* Buhl Planetarium "Buhl Explorer" Museum Exhibit Guides, given to the public upon entering the building, which describe the "Millions" exhibit (in the 1987 guide) and The Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt (in the 1989 and 1987 guides).
* Ju Strip of Quilt squares dedicated to the original Buhl Planetarium Observatory; this strip of squares is located just to the right of the "Boggs and Buhl" Department Store quilt strip.

Lowry, Patricia. "City's Friendship Quilt back for show."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2009 Jan. 24.
Great Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt, created at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium in 1988,
found in basement of Carnegie Science Center's original
SportsWorks/warehouse building, after being unseen for 20 years.
Quilt includes quilt strip dedicated to original Buhl Planetarium Observatory.


Radio Astronomy Exhibit - In the early to mid-1980s, Buhl Planetarium displayed a Radio Astronomy Exhibit along the north-center wall of Buhl's Great Hall on the first floor (this exhibit was situated just south of the doors leading to the west staircase, which led to the second floor offices and Library and the third floor Astronomical Observatory). In the exhibit, a lucite tube (which portrayed a radio telescope) could be pointed at a "radio source" celestial object, hidden on the exhibit panel; when the tube was pointed at the right location of the radio source, a sound would indicate the source was found.

The exhibit first opened at Buhl Planetarium on 1980 March 19. For that first fiscal year of display to the public (1980 March 19 to June 30), 40,463 visitors viewed the exhibit. The exhibit continued through the mid-1980s, when many changes were made to the exhibitry in the Great Hall.

* More on the Radio Astronomy Exhibit.


Satellite Model: Telstar 1


Science Fair - Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair (Operated today, by The Carnegie Science Center, as the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair).

The Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair at The Carnegie Science Center began as the Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in the Spring of 1940. This Science Fair is now the third oldest such competition in the country and the oldest regional science fair in the country (the two older science fairs are state-wide competitions). Students, grades 6 to 12, in 23 counties (previously 22) in Western Pennsylvania, 3 counties in northern West Virginia, and Garrett County in western Maryland (Garrett County is a recent addition) are eligible to apply to participate in this science fair.

* Brief Description
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, page 83
* Photographs from 1955 Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair
* Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair at The Carnegie Science Center
* Sara A. Majetich, Professor of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, participated in the Buhl Planetarium Science Fair while a student at the Fox Chapel High School.
* Bob Mangola and Glenn A. Walsh, while eighth grade students at the Shaler Junior High School, submitted a science project for the Buhl Planetarium Science Fair in the Spring of 1970; the project received no prize (the awards ceremony was held in the auditorium of the nearby Allegheny High School; at this time, a Moon rock was on display at Buhl Planetarium). However, some years earlier, Glenn A. Walsh won an Honorable Mention (awarded after a reconsideration) for a school science fair project, a clay model of the ancient Stonehenge astronomical observatory, while attending DeHaven Elementary School, of the Shaler Township School District, in the Pittsburgh suburb of Glenshaw, Pennsylvania.

* "CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF PITTSBURGH REGIONAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR." News Release.
Carnegie Science Center 2014 March 29.
This year's competition was the 75th annual science and engineering fair, the third oldest in the country as well as the oldest regional science fair in the country (the two older science fairs are state-wide competitons). The Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair at The Carnegie Science Center began as the Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in the Spring of 1940.

* "CALLING ALL SCIENCE FAIR ALUMNI - HELP CELEBRATE 75 YEARS OF SCIENCE!
"PITTSBURGH REGIONAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR TO HOLD 75TH COMPETITION."
News Release.
Carnegie Science Center 2014 March 4.
The Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair at The Carnegie Science Center began as the Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in the Spring of 1940.

* Walsh, Glenn A. "'Video: Girl Sends 'Hello Kitty' Doll Into Space in Balloon." Blog Post.
SpaceWatchtower 2013 Feb. 11.
Lauren Rojas of Antioch, California sent her Hello Kitty doll more than 90,000 feet into space for a school science fair project.

* Walsh, Glenn A. "'How to' Science Fair Project Video Series from NASA." Blog Post.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 Dec. 22.
The Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair, the third oldest Science Fair in the United States (the oldest regional Science Fair in a major metropolitan area; the two older fairs are state-wide fairs), originated at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in the Spring of 1940.

* Arbogast, Sarah. "Students Come From Near, Far To Compete In Science & Engineering Fair."
KDKA-TV 2 2012 May 17.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair occurred at Pittsburgh's David Lawrence Convention Center. The last time the International Science and Engineering Fair was in Pittsburgh was in May of 1989, for the 40th Intenational Fair, in commemoration of the 50th Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair and the 50th anniversary of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.

* Walsh, Glenn A. "Buhl Planetarium Poem by Ann Curran." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 May 3.
Poem "At the Late Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science," written by Pittsburgh Poet and
former Buhl Planetarium employee Ann Curran, who held a poetry reading at the Main Branch of
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on 2012 April 15.
Science Fair remembrance in poem.

* Walsh, Glenn A. "Buhl Science Fair Alumnus Wins CSC Award." Electronic Mail-Group Message.
South Hills Backyard Astronomers 2011 Feb. 3.
"Majetich Receives Carnegie Science Center Award." News Release.
Carnegie Mellon University 2011 Feb. 4.
Daly, Jill. "Carnegie Science Awards announced."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette On-Line 2011 Feb. 3.
Includes award: Emerging Female Scientist -- Sara A. Majetich, Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Majetich listed herself as an alumnus of the Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair,
of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science,
for the 1989 publication:
"Lives Touched...Worlds Changed," Fifty Years of Alumni Achievements.
News Articles Regarding Carnegie Science Center Awards Ceremony Keynote Address:
Brandolph, Adam. "As cost falls, final frontier will open."
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2011 May 7.
Sheridan, Patricia. "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Anousheh Ansari."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2011 May 2.

* 1989 May - Pittsburgh: 40th International Science and Engineering Fair
In Pittsburgh to commemorate the 50th Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engieering Fair and the 50th anniversary of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (1939 to 1991).
Glenn A. Walsh (who, at the time, was Buhl Planetarium Astronomical Observatory Coordinator and Planetarium Lecturer) and John D. Weinhold (who, now deceased, at the time was a Buhl Planetarium Observatory Volunteer), both of whom later helped form the Steering Committee of Friends of the Zeiss, assisted with the International Science and Engineering Fair as volunteers.


Science Serves Industry Exhibit Series - On the first floor, in Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall, was a series of exhibits demonstrating how Science serves several different industries. This series of exhibits was particularly significant for Pittsburgh, which, from the mid-nineteen century through the twentieth century, grew rapidly to become one of the world's foremost industrial cities.

In fact, up until the mid-1980s, Pittsburgh was the third largest corporate headquarters city in the nation (behind New York City and Chicago, respectively). Pittsburgh continues to rank in the top ten for corporate headquarters, often within the top five.

And, with so many corporate headquarters, Pittsburgh was one of the leaders in the number of corporate research and development (R&D) laboratories, including R&D labs for Gulf Oil (now operated by the University of Pittsburgh), PPG Industries (originally Pittsburgh Plate Glass, including Pittsburgh Paints), U.S. Steel, Fisher Scientific, and Westinghouse. Additionally, Mellon Institute of Industrial Research was an independent center for corporate and industrial research, until it merged with the Carnegie Institute of Technology to form Carnegie-Mellon Universisty in 1967. Today, Carnegie Mellon and Pitt are world renowned research universities.

* Web page includes list of exhibit modules included in Buhl Planetarium's "Science Serves Industry" Exhibit Series.
* Photograph of "How Atomic Fission Generates Heat" exhibit module (5), sponsored by the Westinghouse Electric Company.


Summer "Solstice Day" Annual Event -

During most of the 1980s and early 1990s, the Buhl Science Center ("modernized" name for The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, used from 1982 February through 1991 August) held a major celebration, on the day of the Summer Solstice (the first official day of Summer: June 21), both inside the building and on the Allegheny Square Plaza outside of the building. Beginning in 1985, this "Solstice Day" event was the one day of the year when admission, into the Buhl Science Center (including Buhl Planetarium shows and all exhibits and programs), was free-of-charge to the public.

Actually, admission to the building during the first year of this event was free-of-charge, when the visitor attended bringing with them a real snowball! During the Winter months, Buhl asked people to save one or more snowballs in their freezer and then bring the snowball(s) to Buhl on June 21 for free admission to the event and Science Center. The promotion was quite successful, with quite a few people bringing snowballs to Buhl Planetarium on the day of the Summer Solstice. As several events, during the day, were held outside of the building, of course these events were free-of-charge to everyone, regardless of whether they had brought with them a snowball.

In subsequent years, admission to the building for this event was free-of-charge for everyone, as the Summer Solstice became Buhl Planetarium's one free day of the year. Even after a snowball was not required for free admission on June 21, several people continued bringing snowballs on "Solstice Day."

One of the fun events, on the Allegheny Square Plaza just outside of Buhl's front doors, was the weighing and determining the scientific composition of the snowballs:

* Photograph of a Buhl staff member (Public Relations Director Caroljo "Jo" Lee; now Caroljo Lee Henderson) weighing a patron's snowball, in front of Buhl Planetarium (Allegheny Square Plaza), on 1985 June 21.
* Photographs from the exhibit and demonstrations of the Tripoli Rocketry Association, at Buhl Planetarium's Summer Solstice Day events in 1983 and 1984:
** Barton Paul Levenson (successful science fiction author in Pittsburgh and former President of the Tripoli Rocketry Association) stands beside a model rocket to be launched outside of Buhl Planetarium (in the field behind the Old Allegheny Post Office) (5).
** Two rockets being prepared for launch (5).
** Tripoli Rocketry Association exhibit in Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall, 1983 June 21 (5).
** Display of Tripoli Rocketry Association rockets in front of Buhl Planetarium (Allegheny Square Plaza), 1984 June 21 (5).

Beginning in 2007, The Carnegie Science Center decided to reuse this original Buhl Planetarium promotion. Click here to learn more about The Carnegie Science Center's reuse of the original Buhl Planetarium "Snowballs on Summer Solstice Day" promotion.

"SPLASH! Kick Off to Summer Community Free Day - Children's Museum of Pittsburgh." Web Page Notice
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh 2014 June 21.
Sponsored by the Jack Buncher Foundation.
Also see:
* Carnegie Science Center Reuse of 1980s "Snowballs on Summer Solstice Day" Promotion of Pittsburgh's Original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science
* Annual Summer Solstice Day Event at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, 1985 to 1991


Table of the Elements -
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, page 53.


Talking Exhibits - When Buhl Planetarium was dedicated on 1939 October 24, it included several "talking exhibits." The Foucault Pendulum was one of Buhl Planetarium's original "talking exhibits." The large meteorite was another.

A special state-of-the-art (in 1939) Sound Room [across the Planetarium Hallway from the Planetarium Sound Room] included turntables which would play a special record, which would explain the exhibit, at the press of a button by the visitor. The sound came from a speaker at or near the exhibit. The Foucault Pendulum talking exhibit speaker, no longer in use, can still be seen in the Pendulum Pit--the last vestige of the Buhl Planetarium "talking exhibits."

By the 1960s, this system of talking exhibits was obsolete and no longer used. This Sound Room became another storage room. In the mid-1980s (prior to May of 1988), the author found two older exhibits, both non-usable replicas of historic telescopes, in this storage room. Although the turntables for vinyl records, for the original "talking exhibits," were long-gone from this Sound Room, the vintage-1939 power-strip of electrical outlets was still mounted on the west wall of this Sound Room.


Telephone Exhibits sponsored by Bell of Pennsylvania. For a time, Bell of Pennsylvania funded a part-time Floor Aide position (in the 1970s, this position was held by Mrs. Karpinski; after the Bell Telephone grant expired, Mrs. Karpinski continued as a Buhl Planetarium Floor Aide until 1982), to help explain the Telephone exhibits to the public.

During the early 1970s, a Picture Phone exhibit was displayed at Buhl Planetarium. This was part of Bell Telephone's unveiling of commercial Picture Phone service, which first started in Pittsburgh and Chicago in 1970. WJAS-AM 1320, then a news/talk radio station owned by NBC, helped Bell Telephone unveil this service to the public; at that time a Picture Phone [which could be seen from the street, in the the radio station's second floor studios in the Kossman Building, Stanwix Street at Forbes Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh] was used during their radio talk shows. At Buhl Planetarium, two Picture Phone booths allowed a patron to see (in black-and-white; real-time, not slow-scan as some color video phones are today), as well as hear, a friend or family member in the adjacent booth.

* Early Telephone Exhibit: Voice Mirror - This exhibit from the 1960s was updated in the 1970s.
* Telephone Tours - Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, and 47.
* Learn more about the telephone's inventor, Alexander Graham Bell at these links: Link 1 *** Link 2


Telescope, Newtonian Non-usable Replica - Non-usable replica of first Newtonian Reflector Telescope, developed by famed physicist Isaac Newton. This telescope non-usable replica was probably part of a telescope history exhibit, prior to the 1980s. In the mid-1980s (prior to May of 1988), the author found this telescope non-usable replica in a Buhl Planetarium storage room. This particular storage room, located across the Planetarium Hallway from the Planetarium Sound Room, had once been used as the Sound Room for Buhl Planetarium's original "talking exhibits." Although the turntables for vinyl records were long-gone from this Sound Room, the vintage-1939 power-strip of electrical outlets was still mounted on the west wall of this Sound Room. The author placed this non-usable telescope replica on public display in Buhl Planetarium's Observatory, behind the large glass windows of the Telescope Room, in the mid-1980s, until the original Buhl Planetarium closed as a public museum on 1991 August 31.

The following are three photographs of this non-usable replica of the first Newtonian Telescope. These photographs were taken by long-time Buhl Planetarium Lecturer (and Founder of the American Lunar Society) Francis G. Graham on a table in the Telescope Room of Buhl Planetarium's Observatory. In the background a clockradio (AM radio), owned by the author [although the on-off switch had been broken-off, a penny, wrapped in electrical tape (which can be seen in the photographs), was used to turn on this radio] is visible.

Photo 1 (5) *** Photo 2 (5) *** Photo 3 (5)

In this storage room, the author also found a non-usable replica of Galileo's first refractor telescope, as well as a stage-prop hat designed to look like a hat a gentleman would wear during Galileo's era. These were probably used as stage props for the Buhl Planetarium/Pittsburgh Public Theater joint stage production of "Galileo" by Bertolt Brecht. Half of this production was performed on the theatrical stage (world's first permanent theatrical stage in a planetarium) of Buhl Planetarium's Theater of the Stars, while the second half of the performance was in the Hazlett Theater / Carnegie Hall, next-door to Buhl Planetarium. This play was performed from 1981 June 18 to August 2.


Telescopes -
* See "The People's Observatory."
* See also Telescope, Newtonian Non-usable Replica.


Tesla Coil - 1,200,000-volt Oudin-type Tesla Coil built, from 6,000 feet of copper wire for $125, in 1911 by George A. Kaufman of the Ohio River Pittsburgh suburb of Ben Avon (Avonworth, the public school district that includes Ben Avon and the nearby Ohio River borough of Emsworth, is also the original home school distirct of International Space Station Astronaut Mike Fincke, where he attended kindergarten). Inspired by Nikola Tesla, Mr. Kaufman became an inventor after graduating from Carnegie Tech, when he earned more than one hundred patents as Chief Electrical Engineer for Jones and Laughlin Steel. His 1911 Tesla Coil was donated to Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science in 1950.

The Tesla Coil would be demonstrated to the public following the completion of most planetarium shows. This particular Tesla Coil is now being presented to the public during the "Powerhouse" demonstration in the Works Theater of The Carnegie Science Center -

* Photograph--in operation at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (east end of the first floor's Great Hall)
* Photograph of the Great Hall in the early 1980s, with the Tesla Coil seen in the distance. (5).
* 1956 photograph of Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall, with the Tesla Coil seen in the distance. In the foreground, long-time Floor Supervisor John Miller minds the beginning of the queue of the Miniature Railroad and Village.
* Temporary storage of Tesla Coil in Little Science Theater (did not function while in storage), from mid-1980s to about 1990.
* Photograph--in operation at The Carnegie Science Center on 2005 July 12 (Photograph by Alyssa Cwanger of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Photograph published on Page B-1 (center of front page of Local Section)
of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Photograph Caption:
"HERE'S A SHOCKER
Julie Jung, 9, of Monroeville, and other children watch the Tesla coil perform its magic yesterday at the Carnegie Science Center. The coil - named after its inventor, Nikola Tesla - can produce electrical arcs in excess of 1 million volts.
Alyssa Cwanger/Post-Gazette"
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 16, 17, 18, and 21.
* The Tesla Coil's inventor, Nikola Tesla, went to work for George Westinghouse at Mr. Westinghouse's Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh for about a year in 1888. To learn more about the legendary Nikola Tesla, click on the following links:

Bio 1 *** Bio 2 *** Bio 3 *** Bio 4 *** Bio 5 *** Bio 6

* Photograph of students demonstrating their home-made Tesla Coil, at the Pittsburgh Regional School Science and Engineering Fair held at Buhl Planetarium in the Spring of 1955. This photograph was taken from a book titled, Theater of the Stars, published on 1956 February 1.

News Regarding the Tesla Coil and Nikola Tesla

Hennessy, Mike. "Let's Talk About: Tesla and Kaufman." Column: Let's Talk About.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2014 Jan. 2.
In 1950 Kaufman's Tesla Coil was donated to Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. This Tesla Coil is now demonstrated in the Works Theater at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center.

Walsh, Glenn A. "Biopic on Life of Nikola Tesla to Start Filming." Blog Post.
SpaceWatchtower 2013 May 3.
1,200,000-volt Oudin-type Tesla Coil Built for Pittsburgh's Original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.

Novak, Matt. "Nikola Tesla the Eugenicist: Eliminating Undesirables by 2100." Blog Post.
Smithsonian Magazine: Paleofuture Blog 2012 Nov. 16.

Walsh, Glenn A. "Crowd-Funding Saves Tesla Electricity Lab." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 Oct. 19.
A large one million-volt Oudin-type Tesla Coil was demonstrated at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.

Walsh, Glenn A. "Daredevils Test Tesla Coil, Supersonic Skydiving." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 Oct. 6.

Walsh, Glenn A. "Man builds Tesla gun that can shoot 20,000 Volts of electricity." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 May 15.

"Nikola Tesla: Strange Genius." Radio Program.
Studio 360 2012 Jan. 27.

"TESLA DOESN’T STAND ALONE." Letter-to-the-Editor.
Long Island Press 2010 Sept. 16.
Nikola Tesla worked for more than a year in Pittsburgh for George Westinghouse, and he helped Westinghouse succeed in establishing alternating current as the primary form of electrical distribution, as opposed to Thomas Edison's direct current distribution system. A one-million volt Oudin-type Tesla Coil often enthralled visitors at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, usually following the conclusion of a planetarium show.

Rumsey, Spencer. "Tesla’s Last Stand on Long Island
The visionary scientist’s Shoreham lab is for sale–
and his priceless legacy soon could be lost."

Long Island Press 2010 Sept. 16.
Nikola Tesla worked for more than a year in Pittsburgh for George Westinghouse, and he helped Westinghouse succeed in establishing alternating current as the primary form of electrical distribution, as opposed to Thomas Edison's direct current distribution system. A one-million volt Oudin-type Tesla Coil often enthralled visitors at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, usually following the conclusion of a planetarium show.

*** Also see: Friends of Science East/Tesla Science & Technology Center and Museum regarding efforts to save Tesla's Long Island laboratory.

* 2007 June 7- BBC:
Wireless energy promise powers up
A clean-cut vision of a future freed from the rat's nest of cables
to power today's electronic gadgets has come one step closer to reality.

By Jonathan Fildes
First envisioned by Nikola Tesla, inventor of the Tesla Coil.


Transpara the Talking Glass Lady - Beginning in July of 1965, Buhl Planetarium began a second Life Sciences program (in addition to the original "Micro Zoo" prsentation), presented to school groups and other audiences in the 250-seat Lecture Hall (a.k.a. Little Science Theater). Transpara the Talking Glass Lady (her skin was actually made of transparent cast-plastic), a scale-model of a 28-year-old German woman, provided a 15-minute pre-recorded [originally via reel-to-reel recording tape; later in the late-1980s, her recordings were upgraded to cassette tape] presentation about the organs of the human body. Each organ would be lit, automatically, as she explained the purpose and importance of the organ. There were two pre-recorded versions of the presentation: one was a general demonstration for the public; the second was a special demonstration designed for children.

Transpara had a specially-built home (wooden closet, specially-built at the front east corner of the Little Science Theater) in the Lecture Hall. When wheeled-out of her home, she would give her presentations on the west side of the small stage's Laboratory Table and Sink.

In the very early stages of planning for The Carnegie Science Center Buhl Planetarium Program Director Alphonse DeSena, Ph.D. asked the author to show him how Transpara operated, for possible inclusion in the exhibitry for the new science center. Instead of being a presentation in an auditorium, as Buhl Planetarium used Transpara, it was proposed to have Transpara become a stand-alone, patron-actuated exhibit, where the visitor could push a button to see a certain human organ light-up and hear a brief explanation of that organ.

At some point, the decision was made not to use Transpara in the new science center. It is the author's understanding that, shortly after the opening of the new Science Center building on 1991 October 5, Transpara was sold to the Health Museum of Cleveland for spare parts for their Museum's icon exhibit, Juno the Transparent Talking Woman, which had been introduced with the Museum's permanent exhibits in 1950. The Cleveland Health Museum changed their name to HealthSpace Cleveland a few years ago. On 2007 January 1, HealthSpace merged with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and their programs, including Juno, moved to the Museum of Natural History's recently expanded building in University Circle. All of the Health Museum's real estate properties were sold to the Cleveland Clinic.

In correspondence (electronic mail: 2007 July 23) with Thomas M. Bills, Health Education Coordinator and Junior Medical Camp Coordinator of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, it was learned that Transpara is currently stored off-site from the Museum along with the original Juno transparent model, while the second Juno transparent model is displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. According to Mr. Bills, Transpara's tape recorder no longer exists, and Transpara is currently being held together with masking tape, as the glue in her plexiglass has degraded and the pieces were falling apart.

Plans are to keep all three transparent models (Transpara and the two Juno models) together in Cleveland, as they, according to Mr. Bills, "are historically significant models, especially in relation to Nazi Germany and the eugenics movement." The eugenics movement was also prominent even in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. Pittsburgh Astronomer and telescope manufacturer John A. Brashear, along with Pittsburgh's Academy of Science and Art, investigated the practicality of implementing scientific eugenics around 1911.

* Picture of Buhl Planetarium's Transpara, from 1970s animated booklet for children, The Mysterious Universe, Noted. A short review of discovery., which described Buhl Planetarium exhibits and programs.
* Transpara description and other information - Aide's Reference Manual: February 28, 1983: Page 25 *** Page 26
* Photograph of Juno the Transparent Talking Woman, an exhibit of HealthSpace now at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

* 6-inch f/12 Mazur Reflector Telescope with a photo-electric cell (5), owned by long-time Buhl Planetarium Lecturer (and American Lunar Society Founder) Francis G. Graham. The meter mounted on the telescope reads microamps, and it has a bridge circuit. This photograph was taken on 1983 September 24 in Buhl Planetarium's Little Science Theater, located near the projection screen in the front of the Lecture Hall, between the Lab Table (east of the Lab Table) and the wooden enclosure that housed Transpara, the Talking Glass Lady.

* Other Buhl Planetarium Life Sciences Programming:
** BioCorner Embryology (Chick-hatching) Exhibit
** Micro Zoo Presentation of life in a drop of water
** Annual Tropical Fish Show
** Wonder of Wonders Sex Education Program

* Controversial Bodies traveling exhibit of human cadavers at The Carnegie Science Center (2007 to 2008)
** Walsh, Glenn A. Letter-to-the-Editor:
"Demanding transparency from local museum." (Second of two letters on web page)
Pittsburgh City Paper 2008 March 19.
Regarding 2007-2008 Carnegie Science Center "Bodies" exhibition,
and the sale, in the 1990s, of original Buhl Planetarium human-anatomy exhibit,
"Transpara," to the Cleveland Health Museum to be used as spare parts
for their transparent woman exhibit.
** 2007 Oct. 3 - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Column: Mike Seate
The anatomy of controversy and cold-hard cash
Includes reference to his childhood toy, Transparra, The Visible Woman, a 14-inch plastic model of the female body.

** Cleveland Museum of Natural History -- Web Site *** Health Education Programming
*** Hanna Star Dome - When the Hanna Star Dome was built in 1936, it was the Museum’s – and the state’s – first planetarium. The 16-foot-diameter dome served as the Museum’s planetarium until 1952 and has been on display ever since. Three thousand individual light bulbs were originally used to display the sky for each of the 12 months -- these were converted to fiber optic illumination starting in 1994. The dome is constructed of 12 sheets of copper and weighs 1 ton. It displays about 250 of the stars visible each month from Cleveland. The Hanna Star Dome was built in 1936 and installed in the Museum’s original location on Euclid Avenue. The Hanna Star Dome became one of the signature displays in the Reinberger Hall of Astronomy of the current Cleveland Museum of Natural History when the Reinberger Hall of Astronomy opened adjacent to the Shafran Planetarium in 2002. A fiber-optic lighting system displays the brightest stars in the sky for each month of the year.
*** Planetarium and Observatory: Link 1 *** Link 2
**** The Nathan and Fannye Shafran Planetarium
**** The Ralph Mueller Observatory
** Visitors' Center at the NASA John Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland


Annual Tropical Fish Show - Produced by the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society, Inc., the local group of fish enthusiasts.


Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator (A large table-top model now providing static electricity demonstrations in the Works Theater on the fourth floor of The Carnegie Science Center; a much larger Van de Graaff Generator, purchased for the Buhl Science Center in the late 1980s, is also providing demonstrations in the Science Center's Works Theater.)

* Photograph of Floor Aide presenting Van de Graaff demonstration in Buhl Planetarium's Great Hall, near the front doors. (5).
* Photograph of the Great Hall in the early 1980s. (5).
* Images of "Sparky," having his hair stand-on-end, when placed on Buhl's original Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator:

Image 1 *** Image 2 [enlargement of Image 1]

The public was invited to come-up and have their own "hair-raising" event with the Van de Graaff generator. Also, packing-peanuts, in the demonstrator's closed hand while his other hand was on an operating Van de Graaff, would fly-off into the audience when the demonstrator's hand was opened.

Often for the finale, the presenter would invite the audience to hold hands, forming a human chain; the presenter, while having one hand on an operating Van de Graaff, would then use his other hand to touch the hand of one member of the audience, and the electric charge would be transmitted through the entire human chain! Of course each member of the audience would feel a moderate shock; the tighter hands were held together (hence, making it easier to transmit the electric charge from one person to another), the less of a shock that would be felt. The demonstrator cautioned anyone with heart problems or a pace-maker not to participate in the human chain; and, the presenter suggested that digital wrist-watches, cell-phones, or other electronic devices should not be on the person while he or she was participating in the human chain (as the electric charge could damage these devices).

The original Buhl Planetarium Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator was of a moderate size and was located in different exhibit galleries, from time-to-time. Later on, it was placed on wheels so it could be moved to where-ever the demonstrator wished to do the demonstration. In the last few years of Buhl Planetarium's operation, demonstrations were held in the "Little Science Theater" (Lecture Hall).

* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 22, 23, 44, and 45.

* Walsh, Glenn A. "Historic Westinghouse Van de Graaff 'Atom Smasher' At Risk ." Blog Post.
SpaceWatchtower 2013 Jan. 30.

* Walsh, Glenn A. "Buhl Planetarium Poem by Ann Curran." Blog Posting.
SpaceWatchtower 2012 May 3.
Poem "At the Late Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science," written by Pittsburgh Poet and
former Buhl Planetarium employee Ann Curran, who held a poetry reading at the Main Branch of
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on 2012 April 15.
Van de Graaff remembrance in poem.


"Weather Bureau" and Exhibits - In the 1940s and 1950s, Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science included a "Weather Bureau" exhibit in the Great Hall on the first floor of the building, near the building entrance and on the west side of the hallway leading to the Buhl Planetarium. A pipe at the northern end of the Astronomical Observatory's west outdoor wing, on the third floor, was used by the weather instruments of the original Buhl Planetarium "Weather Bureau." The following are links to additional information about the "Weather Bureau" instruments exhibit, as well as other weather-related exhbits, from a 1954 staff handbook:

* Weather Exhibits - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, and 69.
* Weather Instruments - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 67 and 68.

* Aerology Exhibit - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35.

Additionally, by the 1960s, there were three classic, "push-button" display-case exhibits regarding meterology located in the Hall of the Universe, or sometimes located in the west Planetarium hallway.

In the mid-1980s, long after the original weather instruments had been retired, a small weather station was installed just outside of the west doors to the third floor Astronomical Observatory (and just east of the door to the Observatory's west outdoor wing). This small weather station was dismantled after a couple of years (prior to the viewing of Halley's Comet in 1985-1986). This weather station unit only gave a temperature reading at the site of the instruments--inside the building (no thermometer or sensor was placed outside of the building). An anemometer and wind-weather vane were placed on a pipe near the Observatory's sliding roof.

This compact custom-made, weather station unit was originally purchased for use by the Weather course in Buhl Planetarium's Science Academy for children [the author attended the weekly, Saturday morning version of this class, in the Lab 2 classroom, in the late 1960s]. By the early 1980s, this course was no longer offered; hence, Buhl Planetarium Director Paul Oles [whose primary degree is in Meterology] decided to install this small weather station.

This compact custom-made, weather station unit had been in storage in the Science Academy storage room. Previously this room was the Lab 2 classroom, next to the elevator for the disabled. Since Lab 2 has access to water and other utilities, Buhl Program Director Alphonse DeSena, Ph.D. [who later became Director of the Buhl Science Center, and then The Carnegie Science Center, before helping construct the new Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas as their Executive Director] had planned to convert this room back to a classroom. These plans were abandoned once plans for construction of The Carnegie Science Center were firmed-up)].

The "Weather Bureau" at The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science was forerunner to an official National Weather Service substation at The Carnegie Science Center, which was used (and funded) by WPXI-TV 11 in Pittsburgh, from July of 1992 through March of 2003.

Owen, Rob. "TV Notes: WPXI drops contract, ends Science Center local forecasts."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2003 April 5.

Current Weather Forecast, Readings, Maps

More Weather Information


"Wonder of Wonders" Sex Education Program [primarily for school groups] -
In the late 1960s, a sex-education program, called "Wonder of Wonders," was begun, primarily to supplement the sex-education programs in the schools. School groups would come to the Wherrett Memorial Classroom (a gift of the Pittsburgh Foundation, Wherrett Memorial Fund), adjacent to the Bowdish Gallery (home of the Miniature Railroad and Village), to see the special educational modules in this program. This classroom, which was used for other classes and meetings from time-to-time, had originally been called the "Club Room," for meetings of amateur Science groups such as the Amateur Astronomers' Association of Pittsburgh (which was instrumental in the creation of Buhl Planetarium), Amateur Transmitters' Association of Western Pennsylvania (group of amateur radio enthusiasts), Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society (group interested in tropical and other types of fish, which co-sponsored Buhl's annual Tropical Fish Show in the Autumn), and the Mineral and Lapidary Society of Pittsburgh.

"Wonder of Wonders," was carefully explained to children by a teacher who was a registered nurse (Maxine Kelanic was the instructor during the 1980s and early 1990s). Prior to any visit of a school group to "Wonder of Wonders," a special presentation of the program (usually scheduled in the evening) was arranged for the parents of children who were scheduled to see the program. Although parents had the right to exclude their child from seeing the program, this seldom happened. Occasionally, this program would be offered to the general public. However, it was primarily a program offered to school groups.

* Description and other information - Aide's Reference Manual: February 28, 1983: Page 27


World Globe - Rand McNally Geo-Physical Relief Globe - This Earth globe was displayed in the Great Hall of Buhl Planetarium for many years, first in the western section of the Hall, then in the center of the Hall near the front doors. This has been displayed at The Carnegie Science Center. in more recent years. Interestingly, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History also has a Rand McNally World Globe of exactly the same size; however, the topography on this globe is displayed differently than the topography on the original Buhl Planetarium World Globe. At the present time, both the original Buhl Planetarium World Globe (now owned by The Carnegie Science Center), and The Carnegie Museum of Natural History's World Globe, are in storage.

Orginally, Buhl Planetarium staff members were told that Rand McNally did not permit any staff member or member of the general public to photograph this World Globe, as it is considered a "work of art." However, no documentation can be found for this claim, so the following is a photograph of Buhl Planetarium's original Rand McNally Geo-Physical Relief Globe, as it was displayed on the fourth floor of The Carnegie Science Center several years ago:
* Photograph at The Carnegie Science Center
The following photographs, taken by American Lunar Society Founder and former Buhl Planetarium Lecturer Francis G. Graham, show this globe on display in the Great Hall of the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science:
* Photograph of Hawaii and Pacific Ocean on Globe (5).
* Photograph of Mountains of Iran and the Persian Gulf on Globe (5).
* Photograph of the Great Hall in the early 1980s. (5).
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 25, pages 8 and 9.

In 1983, the World Globe was moved from the western side of the first floor's Great Hall to the center of the Great Hall, near the front doors, to make room for the new Image/Imagination exhibit.


World Map - Mercator's Projection Map of the World - Created for the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, by the U.S. Maritime Commission, it was considered the largest Mercator's projection map in the world in 1939 !

The large Mercator's Projection Map of the World was displayed at the 1939-1940 World's Fair by the U.S. Maritime Commission. Hence, on the map were small lights that designated all of the world's major seaports. After the World's Fair closed in October of 1940, this map, along with a large mural on steel manufacturing (from the United States Steel Corporation Pavillion) were moved to Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science for permanent display (several corporations which sponsored exhibits at the World's Fair, including U.S. Steel, were headquartered in Pittsburgh).

In the 1960s, the original steel manufacturing mural from the 1939 World's Fair was painted-over by Pittsburgh-area artist Nat Youngblood for a new "The Rise of Steel Technology" mural, which was commissioned by U.S. Steel (some Buhl staff members, including long-time Floor Manager John Miller, were quite upset with the loss of the original steel manufacturing mural).

The large Mercator's Projection Map of the World was displayed along the west wall of the first floor's Great Hall; this map nearly filled the west wall. The lighted seaports continued to be displayed on the Mercator's Projection Map of the World from 1940 until the mid-1980s. At that time, Buhl management decided to simply leave the seaports unlit, even though most of the lights were still usable.

A large 1960s-era jet passenger airplane was displayed, high in the air, close to the Mercator's Map, from the 1960s until 1983. Also, at the bottom of the Mercator's Map, several clocks (about a dozen) displayed the correct time (Standard Time; usually, the clocks were not advanced during Daylight Saving Time) for locations throughout the world; each clock located below the approximate time zone for the time indicated on the clock. This also lasted from the 1960s until 1983.

A large Rand McNally Geo-Physical Relief Globe also was exhibited near the Mercator's Map, until the Image/Imagination exhibit on light and perception was installed in that location in mid-1983. The World Globe was, then, moved around to several different locations, in succeeding years, in the first floor's Great Hall.

Both the large Mercator's Projection Map of the World and the steel industry mural (first the original mural, then the "The Rise of Steel Technology" mural) were displayed in Buhl Planetarium from 1940 until the building was completely closed in February of 1994. Both murals (i.e. Mercator's Map and U.S. Steel mural) were dismantled and removed from the Buhl Planetarium building in October of 2002, at the insistence of the management of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, which started using the Buhl Planetarium building as a part of the Children's Museum in November of 2004.

* Images:
Image 1 *** Image 2 *** Image 3 *** Image 4 *** Image 5
Close-up Image
* Photograph [published 1956 February 1] showing a seventh grade class, touring Buhl Planetarium, interacting with the tour guide at the large Mercator's Projection Map of the World.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, pages 52, 53, 64, 65, and 66.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 25 pages 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36.



Photograph of the Buhl Exhibits Staff looking at plans for construction of The Carnegie Science Center, in the late 1980s. Pictured from left to right, in the staff offices located on the temporary balcony level erected in the East Gallery (orginally Hall of Astronomy and later Hall of the Universe), are staff members Noreen Ignelzi-Antram, Sue Kachinski, Wayne J. LaBar(now Vice President, Exhibitions and Theaters, Liberty Science Center, Jersey City NJ), Karen Altier, David E. Chesebrough, Ed. D. (now President and Chief Executive Officer, Center of Science and Industry, Columbus OH), Donna Gerkin, and Mary Jo ("M.J.") Hilarzewski (now Mary Jo Montgomery).



Major Facilities of Buhl Planetarium


Planetarium Theater: The Theater of the Stars


Astronomical Observatory: The People's Observatory


Great Hall/Grand Hall of Buhl Planetarium (first floor at main entrance) - Visitors entered Buhl Planetarium at this very large and cavernous exhibit gallery, with walls of Sienna Marble and terrazo floor, which included a Gift Counter (later, in 1983, a larger Gift Shop), major exhibits and demonstrations such as the Tesla Coil, Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator, Foucault Pendulum, Rand McNally World Globe, Gemmaux "Masterpieces in Glass" Exhibit, and later Image/Imagination light and perception exhibit (1983), Large Mercator's Projection Map of the World, "The Rise of Steel Technology" Mural, as well as providing direct access to the Theater of the Stars, Little Science Theater, and the Hall of the Universe.

* Photograph of the Great Hall in the early 1980s. (5).
* Photograph of the demonstration of the Foucault Pendulum
* Photograph of the Tesla Coil
* Photograph of demonstration of the Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator. (5).
* Photograph of the large Mercator's Projection Map of the World
* Photograph of "The Rise of Steel Technology" Mural


Science Library and Board Room - Beautiful wood-paneled Science Library and Board Room was located on the second floor near the offices, accessible to the public by appointment only. It was used as a conference room for the Board of Directors and for staff meetings, as well as used for classes during Buhl's Summer Science Academy and series of Saturday morning classes during the school year.

Here are links to a couple photographs of the Science Library, after The Carnegie Science Center opened in 1991 (photographs taken in January of 2002):

Photo 1 *** Photo 2

The Science Library consisted of 800 volumes including annual volumes of the U.S. Naval Observatory's Astronomical Almanac (previously called the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac), dating back to approx. 1910 (from 1991), as well as astronomy and physics books (including several physics textbooks collected by Special Programs Director Bill Moser).

One text book included a photograph of a painting (5), "The Old Astronomer" by Pennsylvania artist and architect Daniel Owen Stephens. This painting (along with several other Stephens' paintings) was given for Buhl Planetarium's permanent collection, on the day of Buhl's dedication: 1939 October 24. This painting was also used in a 1961 black-and-white filmstrip for schools called "The Race for Space."

Click here for an example of one of the rare books in the Science Library.

Click here, and scroll-down to the bottom of the web page, to see the Science Library bookplate.

Due to its small size, the Science Library never had a full-time librarian. From time-to-time, a volunteer (retired librarian) would come in and update the collection. Since the library never had a full-time librarian, "By Appointment Only," remained the public policy for the entire duration of the library, 1939 to 1994. At one point, the author did lobby for regularly-scheduled library hours for the general public; however, funding did not permit this.

Buhl Planetarium's Science Library was rather small for two reasons. First, Buhl Planetarium was built in the middle of the Great Depression (1939), and the entire Buhl Planetarium building was only 40,000 square feet. Secondly, Buhl Planetarium was built next-door to America's first, publicly-funded Carnegie Library (1890 to 2006). Although not Pittsburgh's Main Carnegie Library, this library had been the Main Library for the independent City of Allegheny, before Allegheny City (now Pittsburgh's North Side) was annexed to Pittsburgh in 1907; so its collection was larger than the normal neighborhood branch library.

From 1991 to 1994, the library served the mission of the then-"Allegheny Square Annex, Carnegie Science Center," when the Buhl Planetarium building was used for Carnegie Science Center's science and computer classes, as well as teacher development classes. When The Carnegie Science Center was constructed, it was decided not to include a library with the new building. When the Buhl Planetarium building closed completely in February of 1994, some books from the Science Library were transferred to a relevant department of The Carnegie Science Center (mostly to the Planetarium and Observatory Department). Other books were given away. Former Buhl Planetarium employee Timm Barczy found a book, with a Buhl Science Library bookplate, at a second-hand book store.


Lecture Hall: Little Science Theater (LST)
* Photograph: Lecture to students in Little Science Theater on 1957 Dec. 6 (photograph taken from projection booth).
* Photograph: Bottom of Little Science Theater motion picture screen.
* Photograph: Original 1939 seats (250 seats in Lecture Hall)
* Photograph: West section of seating in Little Science Theater (5).
* Photograph: Rear east corner of Lecture Hall where the Epideoscope was stored.
* Transpara the Talking Glass Lady
* Painting of Halley's Comet (mounted on east wall of Little Science Theater)
* Tesla Coil - Temporary storage in Little Science Theater (did not function while in storage), mid-1980s to about 1990.

* 6-inch f/12 Mazur Reflector Telescope with a photo-electric cell (5), owned by long-time Buhl Planetarium Lecturer (and American Lunar Society Founder) Francis G. Graham. The meter mounted on the telescope reads microamps, and it has a bridge circuit. This photograph was taken on 1983 September 24 in Buhl Planetarium's Little Science Theater, located near the projection screen in the front of the Lecture Hall, between the Lab Table (east of the Lab Table) and the wooden enclosure that housed Transpara, the Talking Glass Lady.

* 8-inch f/8 Edmund Reflector Telescope (5), owned by long-time Buhl Planetarium Lecturer (and American Lunar Society Founder) Francis G. Graham. This photograph was taken on 1983 September 24 in Buhl Planetarium's Little Science Theater, located in the front of the Lecture Hall, between the Lab Table (west of the Lab Table) and the emergency exit doors to the outside. Since that time, Professor Graham has sold the telescope tube and mirror; the heavy cast iron stand now holds Professor Graham's 7-inch Refractor Telescope.

Cataldi, James F. "Storytelling: With clear recall, he spells out his 'portentous' fall."
Column: PG Portfolio - "Storytelling."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2011 April 1.
"In 1962, eighth grade at St. Mary's in McKees Rocks, Sister Madeline picked me to go to
the regional spelling bee at Buhl Planetarium."
In the first three months of each year, The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science
hosted the spelling bee rounds which lead to the final Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee championship
round (which was usually held at a larger auditorium, such as in Schenley High School). These spelling
bee rounds, co-sponsored by The Pittsburgh Press, took place in Buhl's 250-seat Lecture Hall
(a.k.a. Little Science Theater)
, with two spelling bee sessions occurring on Saturday mornings,
for several weeks. The Pittsburgh Press rented the Lecture Hall for these spelling bee rounds
and paid for an additional Buhl Planetarium staff person (Floor Aide) to manage the needs for this rental.
The student contestants were seated just in front of the small and low Lecture Hall stage,
and the Lab Table on the stage, on old-style, black folding-chairs (which were replaced and
donated to the Salvation Army in the late 1980s).


Computer Learning Lab (CLL) - Constructed in the east section of the Octagon Gallery, with the public opening in June of 1983.

* Buhl Planetarium visitor John Daniel Potemra (then of the McKeesport suburb of Versailles Borough) stands outside at the visitors' entrance to The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (then known as the Buhl Science Center), on 1983 September 24 (5). He stands beside a large sign, mounted between the two visitor doors (at that time, recently converted from the original two revolving doors to two large glass doors, to provide accessibility to the disabled), which advertises some of the major attractions in the building including the "Pixel-Paint Pots" artistic touch computer, Computers [in the Computer Learning Lab (CLL)], "BioCorner" Chick-Hatching Exhibit, Planetarium Sky Shows, Laserium Laser-Light Concerts, and Demonstrations and Lectures.


Gift Shop: Discovery Shop - Constructed in late 1982, just west of the Buhl Planetarium main entrance doors in the Great Hall, as an expanded version of the earlier Sales Counter, which had been located just east of the main entrance doors, along the north wall of the Great Hall between the Planetarium Hallway entrance and the east staircase to the lower level Mezzanine.
Photo 1 *** Photo 2

Glass Display Case From Original Sales Counter

Celestial Property Lease

Certain private companies "sell" stars or "name" stars for a price, to make a profit. Others "sell" land on the Moon or other celestial bodies, also for a profit. As a non-profit fundraiser, to benefit The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science through the organization Friends of the Planetarium, in the 1970s Buhl Planetarium's Gift Counter sold a one-year "Celestial Property Lease" to several different celestial bodies. Each lease included an "official" certificate signed by the Buhl Planetarium Executive Director, Carl F. Wapiennik. At this link is one sample Celestial Property Lease sold by Buhl Planetarium.

The Last Rubber Spider Auction

Learn about the Gift Counter/Shop's most popular product: little rubber spiders, and "The Last Rubber Spider Auction," at this link.


The Historic Flag Pole At Pittsburgh's Original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science

Walsh, Glenn A. "Historic Buhl Planetarium Flag Pole Refurbished, Back-in-Use." Blog Post.
SpaceWatchtower 2013 Dec. 7.


Art in Pittsburgh's Original Buhl Planetarium



Exhibits and Other Artifacts Which Remained in Buhl Planetarium Building
Prior to October of 2002

Zeiss Model II Planetarium Projector - The oldest operable, major planetarium projector in the world!!!

Ten-inch, Siderostat-type, Refractor Telescope - The second largest Siderostat-type telescope in existence(third largest which ever existed).

Large World Map - Originally created by the U.S. Maritime Commission for the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, at the time of creation it was considered the largest Mercator's Projection Map in the world! This map is currently displayed along the western wall of the first floor's Great Hall.

U.S. Steel Mural - This large mural, attached to the southern wall of the first floor's Great Hall, depicts the rise of technology. A special lighting system for this mural exists, with the control unit located in the former office of Buhl's Discovery gift shop.

Painting of Halley's Comet - This painting, from Great Britain, was donated to Buhl in 1986 by the late Willard F. Rockwell, Jr., former Chairman of Rockwell International Corporation and Founder of Astrotech International Corporation(the painting was transported to Buhl in Mr. Rockwell's limousine!). This painting is currently located on the eastern wall of the Lecture Hall (a.k.a. Little Science Theater); it could be moved elsewhere.

Epideoscope - Antique, overhead-type projector, with microscope, used for Buhl's first Life Sciences public presentation, "The Micro Zoo." It is unknown whether this projector still operates. It is currently located in the Lecture Hall, but it could be displayed elsewhere.
* Description and other information - Aide's Book, Copy 8, page 82.

Oscilloscope - Large older model, used for presentations in the Lecture Hall; it could be used and displayed elsewhere.

Beautiful brass and marble pit displaying the true cardinal points of the compass - Originally used to display the Foucault Pendulum, it still displays the cardinal points of the compass.

Grand Clock - This clock, which still operates, greets the public as they enter the building's front doors; its control unit is located on the second floor.

Beautiful Wood-Paneled Library - This is located on the building's second floor.

Lecture Hall Science Table - This is located in the front of the Lecture Hall and is still usable for any type of science presentation.

Lighted Picture Displays - Several lighted picture display cases exist, either imbedded into the wall(Planetarium hallway) or mounted on the wall(Observatory); any type of picture can be displayed.

Rainbow Wallpaper - Wallpaper which refracts light, at the entrance to the East Gallery.



Internet Web Site Master Index for the History of
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh



Disclaimer Statement: This Internet Web page is not affiliated with the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium and Observatory/Buhl Digital Dome,
The Carnegie Science Center, or The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Institute.

This Internet, World Wide Web Site administered by Glenn A. Walsh.
Unless otherwise indicated, all web pages in this account are Copyright 1999-2013, Glenn A. Walsh, All Rights Reserved.
Additions and corrections to: buhlexhibits@planetarium.cc

Last modified : Saturday, 21-Jun-2014 13:57:45 EDT.

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