| The Transit instrument at Kenyon College was originally
placed on a solid, stone ledge in a southward-facing window in the observatory
in the tower of Ascension Hall (1859). The main telescope was a 4" instrument
with a lens made, in local legend, by Alvan Clark. Tall trees and light pollution
have caused the observatory to be moved; the telescope is now in the Smithsonian
Institution collection, and the transit is in storage in the Kenyon physics
Astronomical transits have telescopes pivoted in the
vertical plane, and accurate angular measurements can be made of the relative
vertical position of a star using the divided circles. Normally the transit
was set to the vertical plane was that of the meridian. A clock next to the
instrument allowed the astronomer to note the time when the star passed the
The transit instrument at the left was made by Fry and Shaw of New York.
It is in the apparatus collection of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and was probably bought by William Smith about 1900 for his private observatory.
The instrument is about 55 cm in height,