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Trying to ID my very first scope (mid-1960s)

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#1 kt4hx

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:54 PM

Bear with me here.  I am only going on memory and have no pictures.  I am trying to possibly identify what my first scope was way back in the mid-1960s.  I can tell you it was a reflector, with a black, textured OTA, and maybe the metal trim rings at both ends of the OTA were white. There was no end cap that I recall, and it was around 2.5 to 3 inches in apertrue, perhaps about 3 ft in length.  The tripod was black c-channel steel legs, with a gray metal ball and socket movement that attached (to my recollection) to some sort of saddle that the OTA was attached to.  Can't recall if there were rings or it was just glued or bolted onto the saddle.  It had a basic plastic (I believe) rack & pinion focuser (black), assuming .965 inch.  I don't recall a finderscope at all, nor any labels.  I believe the secondary holder was a single plastic arm with the mirror (rectangular) glued to an angled flat piece (no adjustment).  There were three primary adjustment knobs at the back of the OTA that passed through the trim ring.  I remember gray metal knurled grips on the screws. 

 

Those are the details I can pull up from the depths of my memory after all these years.  I have looked on ebay and other places, but have not found what I think it was.  I found a lot of Gilbert reflectors that had a straw-like finder on them, but that's not it.  We lived in a small town in southern Indiana, so I would imagine my mom bought it via catalog, from the likes of Sears, JC Penney or Montgomery Wards.  I know both Sears and MW had catalog stores in town.  Does anyone have a clue as to what this might have been?  I would love to find one for the nostalgia.  I know now it was a piece of junk, but when I was little it was the most wonderful and precious thing I had.  I spent countless hours outside looking through it, with my favorite objects being M6 and M7.  In those days, even in town, the Milky Way was bright and structured.  We didn't have many resources for observing materials, but I did have a planisphere, and a very simple book or two.  I had no clue what I was looking at then, but of course in time I learned.  I remember trying to align the primary by looking through the focuser with no EP in it, and trying to adjust the primary so I had the secondary reflection centered.  I had no idea this was called collimation (in a very rudimentary way of course), but learned by trial and error that after I did that, my views improved.  For the most part I had no idea what I was doing, and learned by fiddling around.  I'm sure there was some sort of manual with it, but I don't recall that specifically, nor a box.  Anyway, if anyone can come up with an idea based on the above description, I would be very grateful.  I know it may real longshot, but thought it was worth a shot.  Thanks in advance.


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#2 terraclarke

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:00 PM

It sounds an awful lot like a Gilbert to me? There were several models and the lesser one didn't have the 'tubular finder'. Here's one without the finder. It had the single piece channel/angle iron legs.

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Edited by terraclarke, 05 August 2014 - 05:14 PM.


#3 roscoe

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:19 PM

I'm voting with Terra here, my guess also was a Gilbert.  The C-channel legs and the ball-and-socket 'mount' are Gilbert, for sure.  Mine, I believe, had a Gilbert label on the box, but nothing on the scope itself.  The box as I recall was gray vinyl-covered cardboard - similar to a cheap guitar case - with a zipper around the top to close it.



#4 kt4hx

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:34 PM

Thanks Terra.  I believe I have seen that particular model before.  I have this mental image of what it looked like, but the biggest problem is what I think I remember and what reality was after so many years!  I am sure you are right about this, but I just wish I could find a site that has images of a range of Gilbert scopes so I could look through them.  I would say its a good bet they were marketed through companies like Sears, MW and JCP, especially their Christmas catalogs.  I appreciate the responses.

 

I did find this interesting read:

 

http://uncle-rods.bl...ac-gilbert.html


Edited by kt4hx, 05 August 2014 - 06:00 PM.


#5 apfever

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:54 PM

Here:

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#6 apfever

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:54 PM

in box:

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#7 apfever

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

think outside the box:

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#8 kt4hx

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:57 PM

Yeah, I've seen many pics of that particular model.  But mine didn't have the "finder scope" sighting tube.  I also don't recall the "Gilbert" name anywhere on the tube (though tecnically in the images its on the collar.  But given that the ball and socket mount, and c-channel tripod legs seem to be a Gilbert standard, it likely is one of their models.  What is the aperture on that, 2 or 3 inches?


Edited by kt4hx, 05 August 2014 - 06:59 PM.


#9 DocFinance

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:28 PM

My Harmonic Reed has a ball mount and steel C-channel legs, but a white fiberboard tube.  No finder, and a shorter focal length.



#10 terraclarke

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:54 AM

Yeah, I've seen many pics of that particular model.  But mine didn't have the "finder scope" sighting tube.  I also don't recall the "Gilbert" name anywhere on the tube (though tecnically in the images its on the collar.  But given that the ball and socket mount, and c-channel tripod legs seem to be a Gilbert standard, it likely is one of their models.  What is the aperture on that, 2 or 3 inches?

 

There were several model selections available from Gilbert. Some had finders, others didn't. Some had tripods and others just had clamps. My Gilbert refractor had the tripod and no finder, not even peep sights.


Edited by terraclarke, 06 August 2014 - 11:03 AM.


#11 kt4hx

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:22 PM

Thanks for all for the responses.  I seems most likely it was a Gilbert, but one of the models without the finder sight tube.  I would love to find an old catalog or something with examples of the various models so I could look them over.  I will keep looking around.



#12 DAVIDG

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:51 PM

 You might want to check out this Ebay listing before it ends, since the picture of the telescope in the ad fits your scope.

 

            http://www.ebay.com/...c2#ht_171wt_654

 

                                   - Dave


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#13 kt4hx

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 01:46 PM

Thanks Dave.  Yeah that looks pretty close, but that boy isn't me!  :lol:



#14 gnowellsct

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 02:25 PM

Thanks for all for the responses.  I seems most likely it was a Gilbert, but one of the models without the finder sight tube.  I would love to find an old catalog or something with examples of the various models so I could look them over.  I will keep looking around.

 

Looks identical to an Edmund I had....if I'm remembering right.  GN








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