As far as I can tell, this photograph was taken after Clyde became famous and after he returned home to Burdett to visit his family. But it’s the real telescope — the one that finally worked, and that allowed him to draw Jupiter well enough to convince V.M. Slipher that Clyde knew what he was doing. This is the telescope that earned Clyde an invitation to Lowell Observatory.
For a dollar forty he buys a 90-inch length of galvanized steel pipe, ten inches in diameter, which he carts back in the bed of the truck. From the side panel of a dead 1910 Buick that stands in the back of the barn (the landlord’s ancient car, slowly being cannibalized for this and other purposes) he cuts twin strips of iron and bends them into hoops to encircle the pipe, with two small square flanges where he attaches the hoops to an iron mounting that he builds from the innards of an old cream separator, using the universal hinge of the baffle joint to construct a sturdy rotating pivot that will allow the telescope to swivel in all directions. The Tolles objective he bought via the U.S. Mail is mounted in an hour and the focusing mechanism he has in place by the next night, and then he is ready.