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Showcase cover image for Walldog Murals of Streator, Illinois | Discoverer of the Planet Pluto

General Information

The eldest of six children, Clyde Tombaugh was born on a farm near Streator, Illinois. He attended high school in Streator and moved with his family to a farm in Western Kansas, where a hailstorm destroyed the family’s crops, dashing his hopes of attending college. Tombaugh continued to study on his own, teaching himself solid geometry and trigonometry. Clyde also became adept at building his own telescopes. In 1926, at the age of 20, Tombaugh built his first telescope. Dissatisfied with the result, he determined to master optics, and built two more telescopes in the next two years, grinding his own lenses and mirrors, and further honing his skills.

Using these homemade telescopes, he made drawings of the planets Mars and Jupiter and sent them to Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. The astronomers at Lowell were so impressed with the young amateur’s powers of observation, they invited him to work at the observatory. Clyde Tombaugh stayed at Lowell Observatory for the next 14 years. The young astronomer earned a permanent place in the history of science when he discovered the planet Pluto on February 18, 1930.

Pluto/Clyde Tombaugh | Designed by Jeff Lang | Location: 215 E. Main St.

JUNE 27 - JULY 1, 2018

History of the Walldogs in Streator

In conjunction with the celebration of Streator's Sesquicentennial, the Walldogs took over the entire town of Streator, IL for 5 days adding a multitude of murals to building walls in the downtown area depicting Streator's rich historical heritage. Over the past year my wife and I have traveled to Streator twice to take shots of our car in front of several of the murals. We still have several to locate and shoot, so we will return again in the near future.


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