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Unitron History Project

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#1501 combatdad

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 09:37 AM

Dave

The time, energy, and relentless researching that you have given to this whole project shows you to be just as amazing as the treasures you have uncovered.

 

You are the man. bow.gif bow.gif bow.gif  Thank you for your dedication to the history of Unitron.

I won't be satisfied until I find the five (or at least one of the) missing 8 inch Polarex-Unitron's smile.gif

 

Dave


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#1502 combatdad

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 11:47 AM

According to the latest from Alex, the restoration is now 95% complete.  Once finished he will take a photo with one of his students at the the eyepiece before breaking it down and moving it to his permanent residence.  Hopefully we shall one day get a "first light" report.

 

John, the individual who visited Alex, took several additional photos that he intends to pass along; these I will include on the feature page.  It is my understanding that he also intends to have a thread on AF that details his visit; I'll provide that link when available.

 

Dave

See John's report and additional photos here: http://www.astronomy...on-polarex.html!  Incredible!!!

 

Dave



#1503 Jim Curry

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 07:34 AM

John's labeling of this scope as a "Mastodon" is appropriate.  This makes a 6" Uni look not so big.

Jim


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#1504 combatdad

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:08 PM

I have been keeping Peter at Unitron USA updated periodically and received this latest response concerning the Model 900 restoration...

 

"Hi Dave,

That is quite a remarkable story and an unbelievable restoration.

You have really done quite a nice job as well with the Unitron History Project.

It certainly makes me proud to be associated with such a fine product.

Thank you again for your tenacity in finding all of this information and for the quality of your work.

 

Best Regards,

Peter D. Indrigo

Senior Vice President"


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#1505 starman876

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:17 PM

I have been keeping Peter at Unitron USA updated periodically and received this latest response concerning the Model 900 restoration...

 

"Hi Dave,

That is quite a remarkable story and an unbelievable restoration.

You have really done quite a nice job as well with the Unitron History Project.

It certainly makes me proud to be associated with such a fine product.

Thank you again for your tenacity in finding all of this information and for the quality of your work.

 

Best Regards,

Peter D. Indrigo

Senior Vice President"

Peter is one heck of a guy.   A real gentleman.


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#1506 combatdad

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:55 AM

Reference the 9 inch Polarex-Unitron Model 900, Alex has completed the setup and I have posted the latest photos he forwarded (scroll to bottom for latest): http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.  Like the vintage Unitron advertisements, on several he included one of his Spanish students to provide some sense of scale.  

 

I'll continue to provide updates as this adventure continues!

 

Dave  


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#1507 Jim Curry

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:02 AM

Alex must be DYING to get this set up at home for a proper first light.



#1508 combatdad

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:17 AM

According to Alex the scope is being transported this week to its permanent home with plans for viewing the Mars opposition.  He promises "first light" photos.

 

Dave


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#1509 combatdad

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 05:03 PM

First photos of Lawrence Fine and his wife, Ellen!!

 

Karen, Lawrence Fine's daughter, sent me eight photos of the Fine's 1955 visit to Japan.  They include a couple of them arriving at the airport (Pan American Airlines); several of a working session; a couple of a dinner in their honor; and a group photo.  Hope to have them posted in the next couple of days.

 

Dave


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#1510 combatdad

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 09:21 PM

I have provided a Feature page with the photos with limited narrative for now: http://www.unitronhi...-to-japan-1955/.  The trip was in 1961.  Karen recalls several trips from 1955 to 1961.

 

Dave


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#1511 starman876

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 12:59 PM

i remember those days. I was about 14smirk.gif

 

Great pictures.



#1512 combatdad

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 01:27 PM

I wish I had confidence in the date.  The research I did on Pan American Airlines wasn't real clear, but all B-377 flights stopped in November 1960 and those last flights weren't to Japan.  Also, the vehicle in the airport photo looks more like early 1950's.  Did you notice on the board they were discussing a scope with a 1500 mm FL?   It also looks like Larry Fine got involved in the technical aspects of the business.

 

I sent the photos to Peter at Unitron and John Coyle to see if they could identify any folks, especially in the group photo.  I was hoping they could identify either Mr Hatsukawa or Mr Kobayashi.  Peter responded immediately that these were the first photos of Larry and Ellen he had ever seen!

 

Dave


Edited by combatdad, 26 April 2018 - 02:06 PM.

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#1513 starman876

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 01:45 PM

I wish I had confidence in the date.  The research I did on Pan American Airlines wasn't real clear, but all B-377 flights stopped in November 1960 and those last flights weren't to Japan.  Also, the vehicle in the airport photo looks more like early 1950's.  Did you notice on the board they were discussing a scope with a 1500 mm FL?   It also looks like Larry Fine got involved in the technical aspects of the business.

 

I sent the photos to Peter at Unitron and John Coyle to see if they could identify any folks, especially in the group photo.  I'm was hoping they could identify either Mr Hatsukawa or Mr Kobayashi.  Peter responded immediately that these were the first photos of Larry and Ellen he had ever seen!

 

Dave

Peter I think started there in the 80's



#1514 terraclarke

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 11:52 AM

This would all make a great book Dave. I hope that’s in your long range plan!


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#1515 combatdad

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 02:23 PM

This would all make a great book Dave. I hope that’s in your long range plan!

I'm thinking I might use a Shutterfly format...and make it available for anyone who wants on.  

 

Dave


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#1516 combatdad

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 08:53 AM

First of all, wishing all the loyal followers of the "Unitron History Project" thread...and all our great friends on the Classic Telescopes Forum...a very happy holidays! 

 

Just want to let you know while things have been relatively quiet of late, the dedicated staff continues to work day and night to seek out truth and knowledge.  I have been in contact with Alex Boot, proud owner of the Polarex/Unitron Model 900: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.  He has relocated the 9 inch refractor from the Netherlands to his home in the UK and plans to have it operational over the holidays.  Hopefully we will have a "first light" report in early 2019.

 

I also had a surprise contact in September from a source whose hometown is Nozawa, Japan but who is currently living in Germany. According to him: "I think Nihon Seiko still exists in Nozawa, Setagaya-ward of Tokyo, in the same area of town that Goto's factory used to be. Their family-owned company used to have a wooden factory in a residential neighborhood where they constructed their telescopes (apparently local children used to go there to get surplus optics like prisms to play with, unfortunately I didn’t hear about this treat until I became an adult and it was too late), but it was torn down and replaced with an apartment. As far as I heard several years ago, the founding president, Mr. Eido Kobayashi’s son (or grandson, this was unclear) was still working at that home Nozawa address designing eyepieces. They don’t have a website but their company is still incorporated. I’m talking from memory, but the rumor was that they were designing Unitron-derived eyepieces for Kasai Trading.  I have heard that this address used to have a small factory + showroom, so customers could go there directly and buy the telescopes from them in the 1980’s."

 

While some of this information appears credible, and we know Kasai Trading was marketing Unitron branded products into the early 1990's, I wouldn't plan on putting in orders for Unitron eyepieces just yet!  The source has told me that he plans to follow-up on this his next visit to Japan...and I have been in contact with Barry Kawa, who now lives in Japan, and he is willing to follow-up on this lead as well. 

 

Stay tuned!

 

Dave 


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#1517 starman876

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 10:53 AM

First of all, wishing all the loyal followers of the "Unitron History Project" thread...and all our great friends on the Classic Telescopes Forum...a very happy holidays! 

 

Just want to let you know while things have been relatively quiet of late, the dedicated staff continues to work day and night to seek out truth and knowledge.  I have been in contact with Alex Boot, proud owner of the Polarex/Unitron Model 900: http://www.unitronhi...tron-model-900/.  He has relocated the 9 inch refractor from the Netherlands to his home in the UK and plans to have it operational over the holidays.  Hopefully we will have a "first light" report in early 2019.

 

I also had a surprise contact in September from a source whose hometown is Nozawa, Japan but who is currently living in Germany. According to him: "I think Nihon Seiko still exists in Nozawa, Setagaya-ward of Tokyo, in the same area of town that Goto's factory used to be. Their family-owned company used to have a wooden factory in a residential neighborhood where they constructed their telescopes (apparently local children used to go there to get surplus optics like prisms to play with, unfortunately I didn’t hear about this treat until I became an adult and it was too late), but it was torn down and replaced with an apartment. As far as I heard several years ago, the founding president, Mr. Eido Kobayashi’s son (or grandson, this was unclear) was still working at that home Nozawa address designing eyepieces. They don’t have a website but their company is still incorporated. I’m talking from memory, but the rumor was that they were designing Unitron-derived eyepieces for Kasai Trading.  I have heard that this address used to have a small factory + showroom, so customers could go there directly and buy the telescopes from them in the 1980’s."

 

While some of this information appears credible, and we know Kasai Trading was marketing Unitron branded products into the early 1990's, I wouldn't plan on putting in orders for Unitron eyepieces just yet!  The source has told me that he plans to follow-up on this his next visit to Japan...and I have been in contact with Barry Kawa, who now lives in Japan, and he is willing to follow-up on this lead as well. 

 

Stay tuned!

 

Dave 

A slim chance that somewhere in Japan Unitron manufacturing of some sort may still exist.   Exciting to hear this sort of news.  Going to keep my fingers crossed.  

 

here is the link to Kasai Trading.

 

http://www.kasai-tra.../productse.html


Edited by starman876, 18 December 2018 - 10:56 AM.

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#1518 mitsos68

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 11:39 AM

Hi,

Just unpack a Unitron 220 camera bought from a US seller via CN classifieds. To my surprise I found inside a plateholder an exposed glass plate with some stellar spectra. The camera once used by college in Missouri for photographic work with a 12 inch Fecker Cassegrain. The seller kindly sent me this link: http://www.justfurfu...html/fecker.htm. Someone used in the distant past the camera seriously or at least the plateholders.

Kind Regards

Dimitris

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Edited by mitsos68, 04 February 2019 - 11:41 AM.

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#1519 combatdad

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:09 PM

I also had a surprise contact in September from a source whose hometown is Nozawa, Japan but who is currently living in Germany. According to him: "I think Nihon Seiko still exists in Nozawa, Setagaya-ward of Tokyo, in the same area of town that Goto's factory used to be. Their family-owned company used to have a wooden factory in a residential neighborhood where they constructed their telescopes (apparently local children used to go there to get surplus optics like prisms to play with, unfortunately I didn’t hear about this treat until I became an adult and it was too late), but it was torn down and replaced with an apartment. As far as I heard several years ago, the founding president, Mr. Eido Kobayashi’s son (or grandson, this was unclear) was still working at that home Nozawa address designing eyepieces. They don’t have a website but their company is still incorporated. I’m talking from memory, but the rumor was that they were designing Unitron-derived eyepieces for Kasai Trading.  I have heard that this address used to have a small factory + showroom, so customers could go there directly and buy the telescopes from them in the 1980’s."

 

While some of this information appears credible, and we know Kasai Trading was marketing Unitron branded products into the early 1990's, I wouldn't plan on putting in orders for Unitron eyepieces just yet!  The source has told me that he plans to follow-up on this his next visit to Japan...and I have been in contact with Barry Kawa, who now lives in Japan, and he is willing to follow-up on this lead as well. 

 

Stay tuned!

The contact visited the location and provided the following: "I visited Nihon Seiko; it is now mostly an apartment building with one small room with the sign Unitron hung out front. The building was typical 80’s construction, overbuilt with a modernistic exterior, but now out of repair. More than half the apartment rooms seemed to be vacant. The mailbox for Nihon Seiko was overfilled with unwanted leaflet advertisements, maybe indicates nobody collected the mail for some time. The lady who came out said that room is the landlord's, no he didn’t seem to be in any kind of manufacturing business, looked like he was doing office work. The exterior and plants seemed well taken care of. I might go back for a second visit sometime..."

 

He also provided some early Japanese Nihon Seiko/Polarex advertisements (1949, 1951, 1953) with his translation.  They are on the Unitron History: Section 1 page: https://www.unitronh...ge/the-history/.

 

Dave


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#1520 terraclarke

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:58 PM

Happy Birthday Dave!

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#1521 combatdad

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:20 PM

Thanks, Terra!  

 

Dave


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