The following was written by James S. Fassero, a colleague of Russell W. Porter's at Caltech, and is from the introduction to Fassero's 1947 book of Porter's cutaway drawings Photographic Giants of Palomar.
Dr. Russell W. Porter, well known to amateur telescope makers the world over, made this fine collection of drawings possible by his ability to faithfully portray mechanical objects in perspective. With pencil and paper he was able to "cut away" sections of the telescope to show the inside details; something which cannot be done with a camera. His artistic and mechanical abilities have combined to produce a set of drawings which have proved of indispensable value not only to the laymen but to all those who already are familiar with the instrument. Dr. Porter is shown here working on one of the drawings in this book.
Maxfield Parrish, celebrated fellow artist had this to say of the Porter drawings: "If these drawings had been made from the telescope and its machinery after it had been erected they would have been of exceptional excellence, giving an uncanny sense of reality, with shadows accurately cast and well nigh perfect perspective; but to think that any artist had his pictorial imagination in such working order as to construct these pictures with no other mechanical data than blue prints of plans and elevation of the various intricate forms -- is simply beyond belief."
"These drawings should be in a government museum of standards, in a glass case, along with the platinum pound weight, yard stick, etc., to show the world and what comes after just what a mechanical drawing should be. Not only that, but the rendering is a work of art, exact and life like, and done with delightful freedom of technique."
"I doubt if there are drawings anywhere which can in any way compare with these for perfection in showing what a stupendous piece of machinery is going to look like when finished. Their creation should be world news."
The Springfield Telescope Makers would like to thank Bruce Weertman for providing the images of Russell Porter's drawings. Check out his web page. These images of Russell Porter's drawings are used with permission of Caltech.
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