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Warner, Worcester Reed (1846-1929)

Warner was an American mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, manager, amateur astronomer, and philanthropist.

Worcester Reed Warner was born near Cummington, Massachusetts. In 1880 he co-founded a business to manufacture machines with Ambrose Swasey. The firm, Warner & Swasey, was initially located in Chicago but soon moved to Cleveland. He later built telescopes that were used in Canada and Argentina. He was a charter member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and from 1897 to 1898 he served as the 16th president of ASME. In 1900 the firm was incorporated as Warner & Swasey Company. Warner served as president and chairman of the board, but retired in 1911. Both Warner and Ambrose Swasey also became trustees of the Case School of Applied Science. As both men had an interest in astronomy, they donated an entire observatory to the school. This became the Warner and Swasey Observatory. It was dedicated in 1920. The crater Warner on the Moon is named after him.

Warner actively participated in amateur astronomy life. On May 26, 1927 the second meeting of Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, spoke on "Helpful Hints for Amateurs." On January 16, 1929 Warner was made second Honorary Member.

The Warner & Swasey Compnay build 23 telescopes, according to the wikipedia. Probably the most famous one is the Lick telescope. The 91-centimeter (36-inch) refracting telescope on Mt. Hamilton was Earth's largest refracting telescope during the period from when it saw first light on January 3, 1888, until the construction of Yerkes Observatory in 1897. Warner & Swasey Company designed and built the telescope mounting, with the 91-centimeter (36-inch) lens manufactured by one of the Clark sons, Alvan Graham. E. E. Barnard used the telescope in 1892 to discover a fifth moon of Jupiter. This was the first addition to Jupiter's known moons since Galileo observed the planet.

Lick1  reverseLick 1 obverse

An excellent internal view of the Lick observatory is visible on a bronze medal. The center is dominated by the huge refractor, its size is emphasized by the observer, who is standing on a ladder, and staring into the telescope, and two men who are sitting in chairs. The telescoped is aimed through the opened slit of observatory. Legend around is: "THE WARNER & SWASEY CO." and "CLEVELAND OHIO. U. S. A.", below: "LICK TELESCOPE".

On the reverse the left facing portraits of the two founders and owners of the company mentioned on the obverse are visible. Legend around: "WORCESTER REED WARNER · AMBROSE SWASEY". Below two dates: 1880-1920, reports that this medal was issued for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the company named after its founders.

The medal was designed by Victor David Brenner, an american sculptor and medallist, who is best known for his enduring Lincoln cent coin design. His signature can be found below the arm of Swasey.