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oldscope
member


Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: State of perpetual confusion
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: JustinO]
      #5582133 - 12/21/12 09:29 AM

Quote:

Bart, ... That explains why the telescope is pointing down.




He was more noted as a paleontologist (and thus the dinosaur he's riding in the caricature.) So I think it more likely that the telescope is pointed down to find very tiny fossils.

Bart


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JustinO
member


Reged: 10/08/12

Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: oldscope]
      #5582175 - 12/21/12 09:57 AM

"A fortunate connection with the Selkirk family assisted to smooth for him the path of advancement, and led ultimately to his marriage with a lady of that name, Miss Mary Selkirk, whose father was Selkirk the wealthy mine-owner in Braidwood."

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5582274 - 12/21/12 10:55 AM

I completely agree with Mister Cepleur. It should be left in place as a monument. Perhaps the plot around it should be mowed, a Victorian iron fence, and a plaque installed. It is an artifact of 19th century industrial/scientific archaeology. It should not be further disturbed, but left for future generations until it is a mound of ferric and cupric oxide, when at such time, only it's place name will survive on the ordinance maps of that future date.

I too am a geologist/geophysicist who has had to work and a good deal of that work has been in conjunction with archaeologists at both pre-historic and historic archaeological sites in the States and Europe. I have seen far too many sites looted of important artifacts that were subsequently dragged off to far flung museums and the drawing rooms of wealthy dilettantes. Leave it for future posterity. Let it inspire their interest and curiosity as it has your own.


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JustinO
member


Reged: 10/08/12

Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5582282 - 12/21/12 11:04 AM

"...It should be ..."

Someone owns it. It is theirs to do with as they please.


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oldscope
member


Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: State of perpetual confusion
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5582408 - 12/21/12 12:25 PM

Quote:

I completely agree with Mister Cepleur. It should be left in place as a monument. Perhaps the plot around it should be mowed, a Victorian iron fence, and a plaque installed. It is an artifact of 19th century industrial/scientific archaeology. It should not be further disturbed, but left for future generations until it is a mound of ferric and cupric oxide, when at such time, only it's place name will survive on the ordinance maps of that future date.

I too am a geologist/geophysicist who has had to work and a good deal of that work has been in conjunction with archaeologists at both pre-historic and historic archaeological sites in the States and Europe. I have seen far too many sites looted of important artifacts that were subsequently dragged off to far flung museums and the drawing rooms of wealthy dilettantes. Leave it for future posterity. Let it inspire their interest and curiosity as it has your own.




Hmnnn ... that's one way to look at it. With respect, here's another. It was never just sitting out in a field when it was used, so it is not an artifact in its 'natural' environment like a statue, building or even a rusty tractor. (no offense, Grendel!)

And leaving it to disintegrate in the elements does nothing for it as a 'monument', especially in some out of the way private sheep field. Even the local astro society was apparently unaware of it. Equating saving this telescope from destruction as the same as raiding an archeological dig is, IMHO, a real stretch here. When (presumably) Calver made the telescope, the intention was for it to be used, not looked at. It is not a fossil and with some new glass and a lot of TLC, it can be used again. Or in a display setting, perhaps it can inspire some youngster to become interested in astronomy.

The key concept here is stewardship, not malignant neglect. It would be great if it were sitting in its original observatory, whatever that looked like, but we're not that lucky. Fortunately, this telescope is in reasonably good shape and certainly not beyond repair and use. If left alone, it will be gone in a century. If conserved or restored, it could be around - and used - for many centuries.

In other words, yes the field could be mowed and a plaque put in place while the telescope disintegrates ... or the field could be mowed, a plaque put in place while the telescope is put back into use and saved for posterity. The latter makes sense to me.

But as Justin points out, it's the owner's telescope ... it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe this one can be resurrected. Calver's telescopes are rare birds.

Bart


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wfj
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/10/08

Loc: California, Santa Cruz County
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: oldscope]
      #5582513 - 12/21/12 01:27 PM

This has been an enjoyable thread. Thank you to the various researchers who have added tidbits to it.

Quote:

Given that the scope sits in "Telescope Field," it has become part of local lore.



In Amador County in California, there's a monument to "Telescope Hill", where a local astronomer chose to observe the great comet of the time. If you know where to look, you can find the pier of a 8" Clark nearby, made of aggregate and mortar - still has the bolts.

There is nothing special to the appellation. If you wish to hunt for more of these, where you start is in finding these places - there are hundreds in California alone. They are a form of recognition of (usually) amateur astronomers who made an impact on a local town, long after the decline/disappearance. When I talked (as a young man) to locals about this (in the 60's/70's), the impression I got was that they had wished that somehow more of the past had endured such that they could have had the chance to understand it in the present better, but fate didn't work out that way.

Quote:

Maybe this one can be resurrected. Calver's telescopes are rare birds.



Bart, you have the guiding light here IMHO.

Quote:

I have seen far too many sites looted of important artifacts that were subsequently dragged off to far flung museums and the drawing rooms of wealthy dilettantes.



Terra, I appreciate the sentiment. I too hate "grave robbers", especially in an insanely commercial world.

It is reasonable to presume that this is a tomb of sorts, and it certainly is poetic that someone who appreciated past artifacts would leave artifacts of his own to be considered in like kind.

But I'd also like to consider that often natural philosophers of this kind valued the understanding of the past, passed on to the future, more than the ritual surrounding their death. It is also highly likely he didn't even consider disposition near death, so its probably an accidental monument.

So the question to be considered is not "should we respect the dead?" but "would the dead wish to remedy the accident of fate?"

How should we judge this?

Quote:

"Dr Hunter Selkirk is arguably the final catalyst that brought about the creation of the observatory and with it an astronomical society, which continues in Airdrie to the present day."



This shows what his intent and legacy is. To me this answers the above well. Note especially the "continues".

How does the presumed action with the scope aid the "continues"?


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Datapanic
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/17/09

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: wfj]
      #5582532 - 12/21/12 01:40 PM

If it's going to continue to be there, then someone ought to go out there and swing the tube around (if it can even move) so it's pointing at the sky!

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Datapanic]
      #5582716 - 12/21/12 03:55 PM

Well perhaps it could be placed in a local museum or better yet a local observatory. Perhaps the local amateur groups could be persuaded to restore it. Perhaps, if nothing else, it could be uprighted, removed to the local village square, placed on a stone and masonry or concrete pad, and have the rust removed and the iron surfaces oiled in the fashion of old Civil War and WWI artillery pieces here in the US, it was a grand old "sky cannon" after all. A nice historical marker or informational plaque should also be placed with it.

I have always felt that remembering and appreciating one's local history is a good step towards knowing and appreciating one's national history and tangible artifacts are a great talisman for just that. After all, the optics are gone, but the skeleton could be preserved and honored in it's homeground so to speak.

I think it would be a darned shame to have it completely removed from it's context.


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JustinO
member


Reged: 10/08/12

Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5582762 - 12/21/12 04:23 PM

I recommend the old pile of scrap be auctioned by the owner to the highest bidder. Anyone with a wish for a particular future for the scope can contribute to a like minded bidder.

The free market works. Hey! Scotland, Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith, Free Market!


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: JustinO]
      #5583148 - 12/21/12 08:14 PM

Quote:

I completely agree with Mister Cepleur. It should be left in place as a monument. Perhaps the plot around it should be mowed, a Victorian iron fence, and a plaque installed. It is an artifact of 19th century industrial/scientific archaeology. It should not be further disturbed, but left for future generations until it is a mound of ferric and cupric oxide, when at such time, only it's place name will survive on the ordinance maps of that future date.




You are welcome to that view, but please do not misunderstand it as being mine. I would like to see the scope restored and properly housed indoors (of course with an opening roof!). I am saying only that if at all possible, it belongs in the region where it was born, because its history rightly belongs to the long-time residents there. Should the scope prove beyond restoration, perhaps a working copy could be built, with the original displayed nearby in the same building.

Quote:

I recommend the old pile of scrap be auctioned by the owner to the highest bidder. Anyone with a wish for a particular future for the scope can contribute to a like minded bidder.

The free market works. Hey! Scotland, Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith, Free Market!




"Old pile of scrap?" Respect the concern that the rest of us have for a once great scope of historical significance.

The rules of this forum explicitly disallow discussions of politics. To say free markets work when they allow wealthy people from away to buy the history that the locals may be able to afford to preserve, but would surely lose in a bidding war, is not a statement of fact. It is political opinion. We are here to discuss telescopes, not politics.

I have no problem with the telescope being shipped away should it become apparent that no one locally would preserve it, but we have only begun to explore the possibilities.

Quote:

I have always felt that remembering and appreciating one's local history is a good step towards knowing and appreciating one's national history and tangible artifacts are a great talisman for just that. After all, the optics are gone, but the skeleton could be preserved and honored in it's homeground so to speak.

I think it would be a darned shame to have it completely removed from it's context.






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Escher
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/30/07

Loc: Fenton, MI
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5583319 - 12/21/12 10:39 PM

I agree with bits and pieces... I agree that the scope should be preserved - and I also agree that *if possible* it should remain in historical / geographical context.

However - if the region and locals have abandoned it and care not for it... then I wholeheartedly believe it should be restored / moved to where it can be appreciated for years to come. A proper history and display could be built around the scope in any observatory run by a respectful club / organization. To me its a shame to let a beautiful piece of workmanship rot and I fail to see respect in that.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Escher]
      #5583474 - 12/22/12 12:57 AM

I think we've done what we can. It's up to the owner(s) and the local amateurs and museums what they want to do about it, if anything.

We can certainly hope it'll get preserved, of course.

-Tim.


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JustinO
member


Reged: 10/08/12

Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5583562 - 12/22/12 03:33 AM

Cepleur: you just went about a thousand times further into politics than anyone else here. It is upsetting to the rest of us. Please refrain from doing so in the future.

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Robert Law
newbie


Reged: 12/06/07

Loc: Dundee , Scotland
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Escher]
      #5583709 - 12/22/12 08:40 AM

This is a fasinating ! it has a connection with Airdrie Observatory , this scope should be saved and restored back into working use I am sure Dr John Hunter-Sekirk would love to see his telescope in use in fact it could go into airdrie observatory to replace the current telescope which we have only found out reccently is not a Cooke allthough the mount is I am going to have to go and look at this telescope and see what we can do

Robert Law ( former curator and hon member airdrie astronomical association) now at mills observatory Dundee


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Robert Law
newbie


Reged: 12/06/07

Loc: Dundee , Scotland
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Escher]
      #5583713 - 12/22/12 08:43 AM

Quote:

This thread is fascinating.... If *anyone* from the forum has the chance to get involved - you HAVE to take copious amounts of pics documenting every step.




I certiny will take photos and video and also 3D pictures when I get to visit this telescope and certinly if can restore it would document it


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: JustinO]
      #5583721 - 12/22/12 08:48 AM

Quote:

Cepleur: you just went about a thousand times further into politics than anyone else here. It is upsetting to the rest of us. Please refrain from doing so in the future.




Well, it wasn't upsetting to me...... there is some real justification in not hauling antiquities away just because the new owner can, there is also justification in the current owners selling the 'pile of rust' in their back yard. After all, how many of us have beautiful classic scopes that were mouldering away in an attic or cellar, should they have stayed there instead? How many lovingly restored 1957 Chevvies were previously mouldering away in sheds and barns? Should they have been left?
If the owners want to leave it as is, that is their choice. If they just found out it's worth a pretty penny, and want to ebay it, that's their choice also. It's not like anyone's suggesting backing a lorry into the field at 3AM some foggy morning and making off with it...... because the line between tomb raiding and restoration/display can be a fine one.
I think that 'we' have done the locals a service by beginning the process of identifying a potentially important artifact, it is up to them to figure out what to do (if anything) about the scope. Meanwhile, we have all learned a bit more about old scopes and astro-history, and that is good stuff.
That's my two cents....
Russ


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Masvingo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: Robert Law]
      #5583726 - 12/22/12 08:56 AM

Quote:

This is a fasinating ! it has a connection with Airdrie Observatory , this scope should be saved and restored back into working use I am sure Dr John Hunter-Sekirk would love to see his telescope in use in fact it could go into airdrie observatory to replace the current telescope which we have only found out reccently is not a Cooke allthough the mount is I am going to have to go and look at this telescope and see what we can do

Robert Law ( former curator and hon member airdrie astronomical association) now at mills observatory Dundee




Excellent! Very glad to hear this Robert.

And welcome to CLoudy Nights!

Given that Dr Hunter-Selkirk seems to have been involved with the setting up of Airdrie Observatory I think it would be great if his 'scope ended up there.

James


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: JustinO]
      #5583894 - 12/22/12 11:21 AM

The mere mention of Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations) makes my blood boil. He may have been Scottish but he was not an astronomer! I agree that this is not the place for such discussions!

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John Jarosz
Astro Gearhead
*****

Reged: 04/25/04

Loc: Fairfax, Iowa
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: terraclarke]
      #5584238 - 12/22/12 03:01 PM

I'm a little troubled by this thread. The scope is on private land. Therefore, someone owns it. If it were me, and a group of people unknown to me showed up at my door and started telling me what I should do with it, I would be much more than troubled. It's an interesting find, but let the owner do as he wishes. As someone already said, the current owner may be keeping it in it's place as a memorial to the original builder who have been a ancestor. No one on this forum has any 'rights' pertaining to this scope. They may have personal opinions, but those opinions should not be used as arguments as to the disposition of this scope with the current owner. The owner's right to privacy in this matter should have the utmost consideration. Rant off.

John


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: ALERT! Old abandone scope found new [Re: John Jarosz]
      #5584304 - 12/22/12 03:55 PM

I think that's a tad harsh. To my knowledge no one is telling the owner what to do.

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