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Photographs supplied by John Huth

The monument commemorates astronomer and inventor, Alfred Biggs, and also marks the site of the observatory which was operated by him.

In 1877, Biggs learned of the invention of the telephone and he then constructed a pair of telephones and had them connected between Launceston and Campbell Town, successfully transmitting sounds between the two locations. It has been claimed that this was the first telephone connection in Australia.

His continuing interest in astronomy led to the construction of an observatory in the western part of Launceston. Despite the small size of his telescopes--his instruments were then a 2-inch (51-mm) and a 3-inch (76-mm) refractor--Biggs was a diligent and pedantic observer, becoming known as Launceston`s `Astronomer Royal`. He contributed reports to the local newspaper and from 1884 papers to the Royal Society of Tasmania, of which he was that year elected a fellow. He made observations and measurements of comets, double stars, eclipses and transits of Mercury and Venus.

We are here because we wish to honour the memory of a distinguished citizen of Launceston, and to mark permanently a very important position in relation to our city," said the president of the Northern branch of the Royal Society (Mr. A. L. Meston, M.A.), in an address before unveiling yesterday afternoon in Royal Park a memorial marking the site of the observatory of the late Mr. A. B. Biggs. In his observatory Mr. Biggs did much valuable scientific work, including the determination of the latitude of Launceston (41-26-1 south) and longitude (1.7-7-49.5 east).
Examiner (Launceston), 19th September 1935.


Address:Bathurst Street, Royal Park, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.438718
Long: 147.132271
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 18th September, 1935
Front Inscription

Lat. 41` 26` 1` S.
Long. 147` 7` 495`E

Site of the observatory of A. B. Biggs, Esq.

Erected by the Royal Society of Tasmania

18th Sept. 1935.

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au