Vintage photos of Mount Wilson Toll Road, Observatory and Opid's Camp, California


Several years ago I picked up a small box full of 5x7 inch glass and film negatives.

When I first looked into the box I thought it was just a pile of "parking lot deer" photos and I was happy to get a few more "other peoples negatives" to add to my collection.
But when I started to look through my latest find I soon discovered that what I had was much more important than that. What I had was a collection of early negatives from Mount Wilson Observatory, Mount Wilson Toll Road and Opids Camp, California. Many are labeled and some are dated from 1912 to the mid 1920's. I made a few "contact" prints to show around and am posting some here.

If you have more information about anything you see here, I would like to post it.
The negatives are not for sale and at this time I do not have a working darkroom to make more contact prints or enlargements. I can supply higher quality scans from the contact prints.

Several people have sent more information about these photos that I have posted. Special thanks to; Mike Simmons, Larry Webster both from MWO and Peter Abrahams.

I hope you enjoy these,
Mike Ryan
April 2010 update;
I have rescanned and uploaded most of the photos at higher resolution and added a few more for your viewing pleasure.

1) Lifting a power line to clear the 100 inch mirror. Backing the mirror into the dome, July 1, 1917.
2) Twin Peaks From Mt. Wilson, California" and "Arrival Mt. Wilson, California"
3) Machine shop in the old Government Optical Building, Pasadena and Mount Wilson Hotel (burned down in 1913).
4) Early "60 inch Reflecting Telescope" and "Observing Dec. 26, 1912" Wendell Hoge at telescope eyepiece.
5) Polishing the 60 inch secondary mirror and the two biggest 'scopes
6) July 1917; Taking the 100 inch mirror up the mountian. Solid tired MAC Truck.
7) Lower enterence of the Mount Wilson Toll Road and a close-up.
8) Polishing equipment and some prisms.
9) Welcome to OPID'S CAMP "A Friendly Place" M.W. STAGE LINE car and Opid's Pool.
10) "AIRVIEW MT. WILSON OBSERVATORY" photo and the big Dome.
11) 150-foot solar tower telescope, Mount Wilson, c. 1912 and the "New" 100 inch dome
12) Photo of Mt. Wilson area cabin taken with Wide Angle lens.

The history of Mt. Wilson is interesting, but I make my living buying and selling almost anything photographic (cameras, lenses, tripods, darkroom equipment, etc.). If you know of anything please let me know about it. I live in Whitttier, CA and can see the top of the mountian from my roof. Call me (562-698-0089) we can talk and I might even drive over.

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