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Nights of Future Passed
Vintage telescope ads from "back
in the day"
Here's a fun look back at some amateur telescopes from days gone by.
Some were great, some not so good. I'll leave it up to you to decide which
Choose your decade:
Click on the thumbnails
to see the fine print.
A well-known name from early in the last
century, Broadhurst, Clarkson, and Company (later Broadhurst, Clarkson,
and Fuller) is still around today, though it no longer manufactures
telescopes. The retail end of the business, known as the Telescope
House in Kent, imports telescopes from the U.S. as well as other
sources, while the parent company concentrates on the wholesale
distribution and specialist supplier side of the business.
Thanks to Roger Gibbs of Masterton, New
Zealand, for forwarding these scans.
||Porter Garden Telescope
One of the era's most famous and
collectible instruments, the Porter Garden Telescope was the brainchild of
Russell W. Porter, the father of the amateur telescope making movement
that started in the 1920s and continues today. Porter's club, the Springfield
Telescope Makers, continues the traditional today by hosting the annual Stellafane
convention in Springfield, Vermont.
This link leads to a 15-page brochure
describing the telescope.
||The Story of Stellafane
Related to the above, here is an article
I wrote back in 1988 on the history of Stellafane and the convention of
amateur telescope telescope makers held annually in Springfield, Vermont.
The article was submitted for consideration in the 1988 astronomy writers
contest held by the Griffith
Observer magazine. It took 2nd place.
||W. Ottway and Company,
collection of telescopes and mountings comes from across the pond in the
United Kingdom. These ads the appeared in a magazine called
"Hutchinson's Splendour of the Heavens" published 1924.
to Roger Gibbs of Masterton, New Zealand, for forwarding these scans.
||W. Watson and Sons, Ltd.
Three more vintage advertisements from
London, this time showcasing refractors from W. Watson and Sons, Ltd, of
Thanks again to Roger Gibbs of Masterton,
New Zealand, for forwarding these scans.