Monday, 21 August 2017

How to Watch a Solar Eclipse, circa 1960

If you're sad to be missing out on seeing the US solar eclipse, this collection of cute vintage photos from the LIFE magazine archive will cheer you up. They were taken by
photographer Francis Miller in 1963 and show the fifth grade class at Emerson High School in Maywood, Illinois getting ready to safely look at the eclipse! Called 'Sunscopes', the magazine at the time offered helpful instructions for those who wanted to make their own at home:

"To build your own Sunscope, get a carton and cut a hole in one side, big enough to poke your head through. Paste white paper on the inside surface that you will be facing. Then punch a pinhole into the opposite side, high enough so that the little shaft of light will miss your head. For a sharper image you can make a better pinhole by cutting a one inch square hole in the carton, taping a piece of aluminum foil over this hole and then making the pinhole in the foil. Finally, tape the box shut and cover all light leaks with black tape."

Pasting white paper inside the box...

The teacher explains how the 'sunscope' contraption works...

Cutting a head-sized hole using a giant knife!

Testing it out for size...

Everyone has a go...

Ready to go!

(Via Time)


  1. Amazing and very funny, if I dare say that! Let's hope that innovation has moved on and the eclipse watchers in USA enjoy the amazing view of the solar eclipse 2017

    1. An American friend mentioned seeing similar contraptions!