During the 1800s, the United States experienced a veritable explosion in telescope construction, going from an astronomical backwater to the undisputed world leader in less than a century. How and why did this remarkable transformation take place? Award-winning science journalist, author, and astronomy historian Trudy Bell describes this process in “The Great Telescope Race,” a feature article in the June 2011 issue of Sky & Telescope
magazine. In this 11-minute interview, Bell goes into more detail about the significance of the telescope race to the 19th-century United States, talks about how such rapid improvements in telescope-making were possible, and explains how telescope construction changed after the turn of the century.
Click here to listen to the interview with Trudy Bell.