Thomas Grubb

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Thomas Grubb (4 Aug 1800 – 19 Sep 1878) was an Irish optician and founder of the Grubb Telescope Company.

He was born probably near Portlaw, Co. Waterford, Ireland the son of William and Eleanor (née Fayle) Grubb.

He started out in 1830 in Dublin as a metal billiard-table manufacturer. He diversified into making telescopes and erected a public observatory near his factory at No. 1 Upper Charlemont Street, Portobello, Dublin. As makers of some of the largest and best-known telescopes of the Victorian era, the company was at the forefront of optical and mechanical engineering. His innovations for large telescopes included clock-driven polar mounts, whiffletree mirror mounting cells and Cassegrain reflector optics.

Grubb helped build the famous telescope for William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, at Birr, County Offaly, Ireland. One of his earliest instruments - the telescope for Markree Observatory in County Sligo in the West of Ireland, supplied in 1834 - was, for several years, the largest telescope in the world. It was used to sketch Halley's comet in 1835 and to view the solar eclipse of 15 May 1836.

Later he built telescopes for observatories worldwide, including Aldershot Observatory, Melbourne, Vienna, Madrid and Mecca and others.

He died in 1878 and is buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland. He had married Sarah Palmer. Their youngest son was Sir Howard Grubb,...
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