Vintage telescope masterclass – Hand-held telescopes (Part 1)

In this series of videos we take a leisurely look at some of the vintage optics in our collection and along the way trace some of the most important steps in the development of the telescope. In part 1 we look at hand-held telescopes starting with an English made telescope dating from about 1750. This beautifully made instrument magnifies about 9x and features a wooden tube and a sophisticated 5 lens eyepiece and relay system in a single multi-part draw tube. Although it functions well in daylight the instrument has a weakness what will characterise all telescopes until well into the 19th century (and it’s still around today!). In part 2 we’ll be looking at the development of the achromatic lens and the arrival of the popular ‘day or night – marine’ telescope of the 1850s.

Later in the series we’ll be looking at the importance of brass tubing on the development of the telescope and some of the equipment used to manufacture vintage telescopes and even taking a peek into a 19th century telescope maker’s financial accounts! We’ll also be looking at vintage binoculars and outlining their long parallel history with telescopes and highlighting the surprisingly late arrival of the recognisably ‘modern’ binocular.

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Presented by Robert J Dalby FRAS

Produced by A.R.B Media Productions for Astronomy and Nature TV

Post time: Sep-01-2017