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Photos: Eye across the Atlantic

Londoners give New York a wave…
By Nick Heath, Contributor on
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1 of 5 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Londoners give New York a wave…

After almost 100 years a Victorian dream of building a telescope to look from London to New York has been realised.

Hundreds of people from opposite ends of the world have been waving to each other, pulling funny faces and scribbling messages thanks to the Telectroscope.

Two Telectroscopes, one near Tower Bridge in London and the other in the shadow of Brooklyn Bridge, beam images of people and the cityscapes across the Atlantic via video link.

The elaborate gold telescope, pictured, houses an oval screen to give the illusion of peering into a intercontinental kaleidoscope.

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2 of 5 Nick Heath/ZDNET

The miserable weather in early morning New York failed to dampen the spirits of two bypassers who ignore the rain to say hi to waving children in mid-morning London.

The Telectroscopes have been provided by London-based creative company Artichoke, with help from Tiscali, the Arts Council for England and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

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Another New Yorker braves the Manhattan rain in nothing but shorts and T-shirt to gaze across the globe.

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4 of 5 Nick Heath/ZDNET

New Yorkers peering into their Telectroscope can enjoy this fine view of Tower Bridge, providing they can see past the waving Londoners at other end.

The story goes that it marks the completion of a dream by Victorian engineer Alexander Stanhope St George, who designed an enormous telescope, crammed full of mirrors and lenses to allow people to see through a tunnel stretching across the world.

After four years of digging and the loss of 15 lives Alexander Stanhope was forced to abandon his dream but it was revived after his ancestor, artist Paul St George, unearthed dusty papers containing his plans.

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5 of 5 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Today's Telectroscope stays true to its 19th century origins thanks to the array of elaborate dials, gauges and lights that clutter its surface.

Anticipation for the Telectroscopes was ramped up by two art installations depicting giant drill bits ripping through the pavement in New York and London, supposedly after drilling underneath the Atlantic.

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