The New Student's Reference Work/Clark, Alvan

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Clark, Alvan, American optician, engraver and manufacturer of telescopes, at Cambridge, Mass., was born at Ashfield, Mass., March 8, 1808, and died at Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 19, 1887. Early in life he was a portrait-painter; but in 1845 he turned his attention to the making of achromatic lenses and manufacture of telescopes. Associated wtith his sons, he constructed object-glasses for universities, for the Naval observatory at Washington and for the Lick observatory in California. He also had orders for his firm from Russia, from the Imperial observatory at Pulkowa. After his death, in 1887, his two sons pursued their father's vocation, manufacturing optical instruments, making improvements in telescopes, designing models, etc. One instrument, a 40-inch telescope, they constructed at a cost of half a million dollars for the Yerkes observatory at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. One of the sons, Alvan Graham Clark (1832—97), was also an astronomer of note.