Dr. Robert Garrick

Obsessed astronomer and polymath


In his 60s. Tall and lean with dark hair, graying at the temples. A widower.


Professor Robert Garrick was the director of the Lick Observatory from 1913 until his complete breakdown in 1917, when he became obsessed with telescope modifications of his own design, which he believed allowed him to view distant nebulae as if they were closer than the moon. When his colleagues were unable to confirm his claims, he became increasingly enraged and neurotic.

After several months of treatment at Agnews Asylum, Dr. Garrick was released and resumed research in his South San Francisco mansion, purchased with money from his father’s lucrative dry goods business. Some sort of recurrence of his prior mania seems to have occurred in November of 1921, when his assistant Larry Jackson fell to his death and Garrick was once again institutionalized.

Dr. Robert Garrick

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