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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Jason H.]
      #5499910 - 11/01/12 08:55 PM

Also, there is an 18" f/17 Clark at Amherst College in Amherst Mass, they have public observing May thru Oct on Sat's at 9 PM (never been there, even though it's only a bit more than an hour's drive away...) Check the Amherst Astro Association for details.
Russ


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oldscope
member


Reged: 08/06/07

Loc: State of perpetual confusion
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Jason H.]
      #5502686 - 11/03/12 05:30 PM

Jason, it is definitely worth your while to investigate this interesting telescope. It is a little disappointing to a purist that it has been modified a good deal, but the other side it that it is being used! This particular telescope has a long and colorful history. It's original owner was Richard Ernest (or Ernst) Schmidt, Chicago architect and noted amateur astronomer in the Chicago area. Schmidt was a trustee at Adler and a President of the Chicago Astronomical Society, and a member of ASP and the AAS. He had a 15 foot dome housing an 8" Clark/Gaertner telescope.

"A Chicago architect, Richard E. Schmidt, years ago placed an eight-inch Alvan Clark refractor on his three-story-and-basement residence. [113 Bellevue Place, Chicago] "My telescope support," he replies to inquiry,"consists of two 10-inch steel I-beams extending a span of 175 feet from wall to wall, and bearing at their ends on wooden studs Their webs are 24 inches apart and the beams are enclosed full length in Portland cement concrete, 36 inches wide and 16 inches deep. This was done to gain mass. The telescope pedestal at the center of the span is also of concrete, 28 inches square at its base, 30 inches high and 24 inches square at the top. I estimate the weight of the telescope at 2,500 pounds, and of the concrete-and-steel beams at 12,000 pounds. The observatory floor and dome were supported by wooden joists, and the floor is nowhere in contact with the pedestal or the concrete-and-steel beam. William Gaertner set the instrument. He, Petitdidier, Dr Philip Fox and Professor F. R. Moulton, who visited me a number of times, found the installation free of vibration. My house is one of a long row on the sand of an ancient beach. I doubt whether the house would have been free of vibration had it been on clay soil. A factor which doubtless helped prevent vibration was the brick walls of a light shaft built at right angles to those of wood which support the main beam and act as buttress walls."

-- from A 10" Telescope, Dry-Paper Dry Rouge Polishing, Telescope Mounts on Buildings by Albert G. Ingalls, March, 1949

The house in Chicago is still there but the dome has long since been removed. The telescope was removed and used as part of an exhibition at Adler. It is unclear whether it was put back in the dome or if it sat at Adler until going to Florida, which I suspect is the case. Perhaps when you visit, you can do it during an open house evening and actually get to use it. Good luck!

Bart Fried
Antique Telescope Society
New York NY


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: oldscope]
      #5502907 - 11/03/12 08:09 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

I can state categorically that a Clark will match up to modern optics inch for inch. I still have not seen better optics inch for inch than my 9. It is a gem.

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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5503469 - 11/04/12 06:50 AM

BIG.

Rich (RLTYS)


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wfj
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/10/08

Loc: California, Santa Cruz County
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5503927 - 11/04/12 01:28 PM

Actually, it's a "small"(<12") Clark in my book.

In my limited experience, generally it was the smaller ones that were uniform best, meaning that I ran into more good (sampling bias - there are more of them) than bad (only one and didn't have the time with the instrument to find out why).

The biggest of the big, not just from me but others, aren't so great. Some of the bigger are good. Many of the mediums (12-16") are good - one 12" I know is excellent.


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: wfj]
      #5504406 - 11/04/12 07:12 PM

I doubt if you carried it around you'd call it small.

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Jeff B
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/30/06

Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5505247 - 11/05/12 10:59 AM

Quote:

It is a gem.




Actually, it's an achromat on a gem.

Jeff


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wfj
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/10/08

Loc: California, Santa Cruz County
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5505595 - 11/05/12 03:24 PM

Quote:

I doubt if you carried it around you'd call it small.



After using a forklift to move a f/20+ 16" with a 60lb objective cell, a 120 pound tailpiece --- yup, I'd think it positively a "grab n go" in comparison.

In the 60's I remember "trailer" telescopes massing the better side of a ton - people proud of them for that, even though they'd generally be 12.5" aperture and f/8.

I have an ultralight 12.5" f/4.8 that I pick up and move around 4-5 times a night, 20-50' distance in my forested observing location.

Am older than when I did a "clean and jerk" to get an 8" f/15 refractor brass tube onto a chest high pedestal (unwisely) by myself one night - almost a near miss.

I think I have a small notion of what its like ...


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altair1956
sage
*****

Reged: 07/05/09

Loc: Light polluted central Mass
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: wfj]
      #5505610 - 11/05/12 03:42 PM

Here's an 8 inch 1878 Alvan Clark that has been recently refurbished. Privately owned by The Skyscrapers Inc. of North Scituate RI. Weight drive and gearing are all as it came out of the Clark factory and the dome turns with a manual ship's wheel gearing system. We've worked to keep the experience just as it was in the 1800's and this gets used for the public every clear Saturday night. Come visit us in RI sometime!
http://www.theskyscrapers.org/8-inch-alvan-clark-telescope


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5505826 - 11/05/12 06:58 PM

Show off......

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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5505954 - 11/05/12 08:52 PM

Zigster....It's great to see you boys in that picture again. Nice to see your posts again! Very nice scope with a dedicated purpose by some very dedicated people. Mike

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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: altair1956]
      #5511784 - 11/09/12 02:44 PM

Quote:

Here's an 8 inch 1878 Alvan Clark that has been recently refurbished. Privately owned by The Skyscrapers Inc. of North Scituate RI. Weight drive and gearing are all as it came out of the Clark factory and the dome turns with a manual ship's wheel gearing system. We've worked to keep the experience just as it was in the 1800's and this gets used for the public every clear Saturday night. Come visit us in RI sometime!
http://www.theskyscrapers.org/8-inch-alvan-clark-telescope




That is a fabulous project. Great job to all those that contributed to it.


Edited by Ziggy943 (11/09/12 02:55 PM)


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iceblaze
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/15/11

Loc: 33.9° N, 118.4° W Lawndale, ...
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5511817 - 11/09/12 03:01 PM

Beautiful scope! I would love to see that 9" in a shootout against Caveman's Pearl. Heck or even just setup side by side would be a fantastic sight

-James


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: iceblaze]
      #5511846 - 11/09/12 03:18 PM

I would love to meet the CA crowd but that's a long way to haul a scope on a trailer. Those two scopes together would be a great photo-op.

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wfj
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/10/08

Loc: California, Santa Cruz County
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5513291 - 11/10/12 02:53 PM

Quote:

I would love to meet the CA crowd but that's a long way to haul a scope on a trailer. Those two scopes together would be a great photo-op.




Compromise on Arizona


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: wfj]
      #5513932 - 11/11/12 02:04 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I would love to meet the CA crowd but that's a long way to haul a scope on a trailer. Those two scopes together would be a great photo-op.




Compromise on Arizona




30 years ago... maybe. Now ?


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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5514353 - 11/11/12 11:59 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

This is the beautifully restored 8" Clark at Chabot Observatory. (taken in 2004)

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5516042 - 11/12/12 01:47 PM

Quote:

This is the beautifully restored 8" Clark at Chabot Observatory. (taken in 2004)




Those are some smart folks over there at Chabot Observatory...painting that beautiful Clark Green...MmmmMmmm

More then snappy...

Rob


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ngc2289
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/05

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX.
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: Ziggy943]
      #5517152 - 11/13/12 01:12 AM

Ziggy to tell you the truth I never liked the views in that 8" that much . I did like the views in the 20" Brashear VERY MUCH.

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Ziggy943
Post Laureate


Reged: 08/11/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Heard about an 8" Alvan Clark & Sons f/14 at U.F.? new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5518372 - 11/13/12 05:33 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

This one then. Hardly a fair comparison. We couldn't make it to a star party. It would be fun to look through both.


Edited by Ziggy943 (11/13/12 06:50 PM)


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