Ladd Observatory

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Ladd Observatory
Ladd Observatory crop.jpg
Organization Brown University
Location Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Coordinates 41°50′20″N 71°23′57″W / 41.83889°N 71.39917°W / 41.83889; -71.39917
Altitude 226 feet (69 m)
Weather See the Clear Sky Chart
Established 1891 (1891)
Website Ladd Observatory
Brashear / Saegmuller 12" refractor
Saegmuller 80 mm transit instrument
Ladd Observatory
Ladd Observatory is located in Rhode Island
Ladd Observatory
Ladd Observatory is located in the US
Ladd Observatory
Location Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Coordinates 41°50′20″N 71°23′57″W / 41.83889°N 71.39917°W / 41.83889; -71.39917Coordinates: 41°50′20″N 71°23′57″W / 41.83889°N 71.39917°W / 41.83889; -71.39917
Built 1891
Architect Stone, Carpenter & Willson
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 93000583
Added to NRHP June 6, 2000
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The Ladd Observatory is an astronomical observatory of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The observatory was dedicated in 1891 and is named for benefactor Herbert W. Ladd who funded the construction.[1]



Ladd Observatory was designed by the Providence-based firm of Stone, Carpenter & Willson. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.[2]


The main telescope is a 12-inch (30 cm) refractor with a lens made by John Brashear following the design of Charles S. Hastings. The equatorial mount and mechanical clock drive were made by George N. Saegmuller.


Besides astronomical research and education, Ladd sent out a time signal for decades. When they decided to stop the service in the 1970s, they discovered that nobody was actually receiving it.[3]


Astronomers associated with Ladd include Winslow Upton, Frank W. Very, Frederick Slocum, Robert Horace Baker, and Charles H. Smiley.

H. P. Lovecraft had free access to the observatory for several years and wrote astronomy articles for Providence newspapers based upon his study there between 1906 and 1918.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arnold N. Robinson & Carla Swanson (June 6, 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Ladd Observatory (including accompanying 5 photos, from 1992)" (pdf). National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "National Register Asset Details". The Focus Digital Asset Management System. National Park Service. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Mitchell, Martha (1993). "Ladd Observatory". Encyclopedia Brunoniana. Providence, RI: Brown University Library. 
  4. ^ Loucks, Donovan K. (29 March 2006). "H.P. Lovecraft’s Interest in Astronomy". The H.P. Lovecraft Archive. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 

External links[edit]