Cave Mirror Registry
Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:26 PM
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:35 PM
I don't think anyone could see the picture of the back of your mirror well enough to notice what you just mentioned above about the "A Cave Mirror" inscription.
I took your image and played around with it a little in Photoshop Elements to try and bring out the Cave signature, and you're right - it looks almost identical to the Cave inscription on the back of my 1959 mirror. What was the date on yours, October 1964?
I don't imagine it would be too difficult to locate a specimen of Tom Cave's signature inasmuch as he was in business for about 25 years and probably wrote hundreds of business letters to customers over that period.
I would check with ALPO, the BAA, ASP and other astronomical organizations that Tom belonged to who might have his correspondence in their archives. Maybe Sky & Tel does too. Just a thought.
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:41 PM
Posted 07 March 2011 - 08:24 PM
Posted 07 March 2011 - 09:25 PM
I am kinda surprised no one noticed this on my mirror pictured. I have not seen it before and am wondering if it may have any significance or if anyone elses is inscribed like it. It is inscribed " A Cave Mirror ". The handwritting style is the same as Lews re-coated mirror from 1959 and I am pretty sure it is Tom Cave Jr doing the inscribing. Could " A Cave Mirror " have anything at all with Tom Cave Jr. personaly figuring this mirror? So many questions and so little info!
I did a little more research, looking at the pictures I have on file of these early mirrors, which were all engraved on the back. I'm not an expert at handwriting analysis but here's what is on these mirrors and my take on the similarities of the engraving style, giving similar styles the same Type number:
M74 – Made by Cave Optical Co. Long Beach, Cal (Type 1)
M213 – Cave Optical Co. (Type 1)
M458 – A Cave Mirror (Type 2)
M654 – Cave Optical Co. (Type 2)
R1589 – Refigured by Cave Optical Co. (Type 3)
M2004 – A Cave Mirror (Type 3)
I agree Gregg, I think yours and Lew's were engraved by the same person. But I think the person who engraved M74 and M213 was different than the person who engraved M458 and M654, and this person was also different than the person who engraved yours and Lew's.
M458 also has "A Cave Mirror" on the back. I had this originally listed as M456 but just noticed it is actually M458. I'll correct this in the first posted update of the registry.
Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:30 AM
Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:51 AM
Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:39 PM
Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:51 PM
Mr. Norton mentions that Alika Herring started in 1953, left in 1960 and came back in 1969. Mr. Norton also left in 1960 and writes that Cave then hired Ed Beck, Bob Crawford and Walt Depampalis.
Some other interesting mirror related tidbits:
Norton quotes 53,000 mirrors and 15,600 complete telescopes. Since he left in 1960 and the article is based on conversations he had with Tom Cave Jr. “last summer” (1993?) I would assume he got these numbers from Tom Cave Jr. Norton wrote that during his career at Cave from 1952 to 1960 he personally made over 600 mirrors. Since the registry confirms the serialization of 16,000-17,000 mirrors, presumably for complete scopes, (we need to fill in the gap between 10/1961 and 6/18/1965 to pin this down) Cave must not have marked the 53,000 mirrors.
Prior to the start of Cave-Wilkinson Optical Co. in December 1950 (soon to become just Cave Optical Co.), Tom Cave Sr. and Jr. made nearly 500 mirrors from 1947 to 1950. I wonder if any inscriptions identify these pre-Cave Optical Co. mirrors?
Norton writes that Tom Cave Sr. ran the business affairs of Cave Optical (implying that he didn’t make mirrors) and, prior to his death in 1957, he scribed the Cave Optical signature in the back of a thousand mirrors in an Old English script style. And, in a humorous story, one was engraved on the front!
Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:13 AM
"Thomas R. Cave Jr. personally engraved each mirror after
final figuring was completed with a diamond pencil marker, a
tradition started by his father. True Cave Optical Co. mirrors
(yes, there are clever copies) are signed on either the side or
back in freehand Old English script with the company's name,
the focal length and ratio, a serial number starting with the
letter “M,” and the date of completion. The co-author’s
Model “A” Deluxe Newtonian has a 6-inch mirror that is
etched “Cave Optical Co., 47 15/16" F.L., F/8, #M672968,
Oct. 23, 1967.”"
Posted 09 March 2011 - 01:18 AM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 01:56 AM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 01:57 AM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 02:00 AM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 02:03 AM
Not the same hand signed these But they both came out of Cave optical, The original owner picked them up there.
Posted 09 March 2011 - 02:14 PM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 03:33 PM
Hope this helps.
Posted 09 March 2011 - 05:16 PM
"IDENTIFYING INITIALS: When someone other than the author types and finalizes a letter, it is customary to include a line indicating who performed this work. Show the initials of the writer of the letter in capital letters, followed by either a colon or forward-slash and the assistant's initials in lower case letters. For example, RFH:sjs or RFH/sjs."
Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:24 PM
Is it possible that the secretary typed the letter and Tom Cave signed it - at least in some cases?
Tom Cave wrote many articles and made many planetary drawings of Mars, Saturn and Jupiter for the Strolling Astronomer, the publication of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO). (You can go to their website.)
:thinking:I'll bet someone has the back issues (like Jack Eastman) who could look for articles and drawings by TRC with his signature. Just a thought.
Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:11 PM
Did anyone notice that the script in the signature that Dean posted is similar to the Cave logo? Particularly the capitol C, but even the rest of the word "cave" looks similar.
Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:20 PM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:47 PM
I have a few other letters, but like others above, have the secretary initials.
Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:05 PM
Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:09 PM
At the end of it all maybe this doesn't really matter. I think the penmanship of someone scribing a mirror with a diamond engraver is probably going to look a bit different than that same person writing on a sheet of paper with a pen. I hope we can figure out which mirrors were signed/made by Tom Cave Jr. and others and this might be a factor to consider.
On the block lettered mirrors who knows? Unless someone who was there at the time says "this is my engraving" or "this is how so-and-so engraved them" we will probably never know.
I did a little different processing on that Tom Cave Jr. signature from the Mars drawings. Maybe this is a little better.