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John Mallas' 4" Unitron

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#26 Keith Parizek

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 04:40 PM

I knew John Mallas and Evered Kreimer very well.  Evered and I spent a day a week since 1970 until 2006 trying to build 4x5 and 8x10 cold cameras.  We had gasket problems.  THe silicone rubber he used originally for gaskets was a different material available later and was porous to a vacuum.  We wasted years trying to find a subsitute.  We sensitized film with hydrogen gas and also cooled it.  The original tri-x he used was different than the tri-x available in 4x5 and 8x10 and never responded like his original 35mm tri-x.  We tried to sensitize 4415 film, but it never responded like his original tri-x.  Evered built all the controls for my two domes at Alpine Az, and also my dome here at Rio Verde, Az.  He also did the wiring for the domes at Alpine.  Talk about a friend! His friendship will never be replaced.  I could tell stories until it sounded like campfire talk. 

John was also a friend and he liked to look thru my 6 inch Brashear refractor.  He could see red light look only one other person I ever knew( the late Helen Lines) Dick Lines (Seki-Lines) was a friend of all of us and he talked Evered and John into doing that book.  My whole life has revolved around friends and I would not have much of anything if it were not for them.  People get tired of my saying it but You can have all the money in the world, but just give me my friends.  I am now 87 and all those great friends have ridden off into the sunset.  It is getting lonesome down here.

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#27 Geo31

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:50 PM

Keith...

 

I like campfire stories and I'm sure I'm not alone....

 

[edit]  The experiences of your generation (one before mine) is largely lost these days.  Shoot, I knew Ralph Dakin and got to hang out with George Keene as well at our meetings (as well as some other cool people), but I didn't want to be that annoying young teen (Ralph was about 40 years my senior), so I didn't hang around enough.  That's something I seriously regret today.


Edited by Geo31, 31 January 2018 - 05:55 PM.

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#28 TSSClay

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:59 PM

How long in freezer,do they last

I don't really know - but a long time!

 

I suspect it will be forever for me as I have much better digital cameras now - I don't need the JOBO or all that chemistry either.....

 

Clay


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#29 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:47 PM

I knew John Mallas and Evered Kreimer very well.  Evered and I spent a day a week since 1970 until 2006 trying to build 4x5 and 8x10 cold cameras.  We had gasket problems.  THe silicone rubber he used originally for gaskets was a different material available later and was porous to a vacuum.  We wasted years trying to find a subsitute.  We sensitized film with hydrogen gas and also cooled it.  The original tri-x he used was different than the tri-x available in 4x5 and 8x10 and never responded like his original 35mm tri-x.  We tried to sensitize 4415 film, but it never responded like his original tri-x.  Evered built all the controls for my two domes at Alpine Az, and also my dome here at Rio Verde, Az.  He also did the wiring for the domes at Alpine.  Talk about a friend! His friendship will never be replaced.  I could tell stories until it sounded like campfire talk. 

John was also a friend and he liked to look thru my 6 inch Brashear refractor.  He could see red light look only one other person I ever knew( the late Helen Lines) Dick Lines (Seki-Lines) was a friend of all of us and he talked Evered and John into doing that book.  My whole life has revolved around friends and I would not have much of anything if it were not for them.  People get tired of my saying it but You can have all the money in the world, but just give me my friends.  I am now 87 and all those great friends have ridden off into the sunset.  It is getting lonesome down here.

Regards

Keith Parizek

No, Keith; no one gets tired of hearing campfire stories, or of being told the value of friends! Please, tell us all of your tales, all of them! You lived the history that the rest of us wish we knew. You knew Mallas and Kreimer? That guarantees you an audience!

 

Do you still observe, I hope? Do you still have your observatory, the one Evered built?


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#30 Chuck Hards

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 10:57 PM

Keith, please post any memories of yourself with your friends John and Evered, that you would like to share.  

 

Thank you, sir.


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#31 EJN

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 11:30 PM

+1

 

Having gotten into astronomy at an early age (10 years old) I started reading everything I could,

and got my parents to get me a subscription to Sky & Telescope. John Mallas, Evered Kreimer, George Keene,

Henry Paul, Clarence Custer, Bob Cox, Walter Scott Houston; these are all names I became familiar with.

 

50 years later, it seems too few who have not been in the hobby for a long time have ever heard of

them, sadly too many newer people in the hobby seem to think that the hobby didn't exist before

Dobsonians, goto mounts, and apo refractors.

 

Here is Evered Kreimer's cold camera/guiding head from The Messier Album

 

cold camera.jpg

 

 

And the 4" Unitron of John Mallas

 

mallas.jpg


Edited by EJN, 01 February 2018 - 12:32 AM.

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#32 Tim Hager

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:32 AM

I knew John Mallas and Evered Kreimer very well.  Evered and I spent a day a week since 1970 until 2006 trying to build 4x5 and 8x10 cold cameras.  We had gasket problems.  THe silicone rubber he used originally for gaskets was a different material available later and was porous to a vacuum.  We wasted years trying to find a subsitute.  We sensitized film with hydrogen gas and also cooled it.  The original tri-x he used was different than the tri-x available in 4x5 and 8x10 and never responded like his original 35mm tri-x.  We tried to sensitize 4415 film, but it never responded like his original tri-x.  Evered built all the controls for my two domes at Alpine Az, and also my dome here at Rio Verde, Az.  He also did the wiring for the domes at Alpine.  Talk about a friend! His friendship will never be replaced.  I could tell stories until it sounded like campfire talk. 

John was also a friend and he liked to look thru my 6 inch Brashear refractor.  He could see red light look only one other person I ever knew( the late Helen Lines) Dick Lines (Seki-Lines) was a friend of all of us and he talked Evered and John into doing that book.  My whole life has revolved around friends and I would not have much of anything if it were not for them.  People get tired of my saying it but You can have all the money in the world, but just give me my friends.  I am now 87 and all those great friends have ridden off into the sunset.  It is getting lonesome down here.

Regards

Keith Parizek

Keith,

Thank you for your contribution to the thread.  Like the rest of us, I would love to hear more about John, Evered and all the rest.  I was a teenager back then and unless we were personally acquainted with the people, we wouldn't get to hear the stories that you could tell. 

One question that I have for you:  Do you know what ever happened to John Mallas' unpublished(?) Observer's Catalog of Celestial Objects, excerpts of which were published in Review of Popular Astronomy magazine in the late 1960's?  Was it ever published anywhere?  Does the manuscript still exist today?

 

...Tim  


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#33 Keith Parizek

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:12 PM

THe National Amateur convention was held in Albuquque in the early 1960's  and I decided to drive up from Phoenix.  THe first person I met was Bob Cox,editor of Gleanings in Sky and Tel.  We hit it off like we had known each other for 25 years.  We palled around and he invited me to meet for dinner every night with all the leading lights of the time.  Ralph Dakin, Mabel Stearns, John Krewalk, Allan McClure, and others from the east coast whose names I cannot remember.  I took Bob and another old ATM from Ohio up to a star party on top of the Sandia Mountains.  Ralph Dakin had a pair of 10x80 flak binos set up to look at a comet .  I know then that I needed to get into binos.  I have a lot of them, but my favorite big ones are 10x80German, 15x105Jap, 20x110 Russian, and 25x125 Nikons.  All have 45 degree eyepieces.  Bob and I discussed depth of field on the short f-ratios of some of the scopes and I said most focusers available had to coarse of movement to be able to focus properly.  Several months later he published an artice in S&T on depth of focus.  Bob was to be the keynote speaker at the final banquet and when he found out I had to leave the day before he insisted he give me the lecture.  We sat facing each other on the beds in his room and he proceeded to give me the whole thing.  He was working on the Mercury program at the time.  How about that sports fans!  Those are the kind of things that made up my life.  One of  the other things  Bob and I talked about was that at any star party just find the young kids and find something nice and encouraging to say about their first attempt at building a scope.  I does not cost anything and is something they will be inspired about and continue their efforts.  I hope the big man upstairs sends us more people like Bob. 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#34 Kokatha man

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:41 PM

<"One of  the other things  Bob and I talked about was that at any star party just find the young kids and find something nice and encouraging to say about their first attempt at building a scope.  I does not cost anything and is something they will be inspired about and continue their efforts.  I hope the big man upstairs sends us more people like Bob.

Regards

Keith Parizek">

 

I'm on the other side of the world & although most of the names aren't familiar to me (& not terribly young anymore myself)  I enjoy the kind of posts & stories you've told here Keith - think of you posting some more here on CN as talking to a new bunch of eager listeners - & welcome to CN by the way..! laugh.gif


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#35 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:18 PM

Yes please, Kieth! The campfire's still burning. More stories! Amazing whom you have known. 


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#36 Geo31

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:12 PM

Keith, I know some of this may feel a little embarrassing (or not, but certainly there are folks who feel embarrassed talking about themselves or their lives), but you probably have 100+ people just waiting for the next campfire story.  I know I am.  I've been doing this for 44 years (well, about 35 years on the periphery in the middle), and I cannot wait for the next story.

 

And that is a lesson for the rest of us a generation behind...  Tell younger folks the stories and share the great times and stories.


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#37 Keith Parizek

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 09:51 PM

Tim- I do not know if John ever finished his RPA articles. I think he was aware of Burnums work at Lowell on his manuals and this may have had in influence on John.  John showed up at my front door one day and introduced himself.  He was an engineer at GE in Phoenix in the days when GE made computers here in Phoenix.  I think he found me because of other GE guys who knew of my observatory and telescopes.  He was always in frail health I think because of Asthma.  Where he did all of his observing from I don't know, but in those days of the early sixties it was still fairly dark in the Paradise Valley area.  When Ikeya Seki rounded the sun and was visible in the noon day, he showed up and spent the rest of the afternoon at my house observing.  That was some treat and probably we will never be able to see anything like that again.  I had built a 12.5 inch richfield and took it up to a star party at the Lines place in Mayer,Az.  It was put on the back seat of my new station wagon.  When I got to Mayer I was late and stopped at the top of a hill and asked Dick Lines where he wanted me to park.  THe sun was just setting and hit the 12.5 at a diagonal and the sun set the door of my wagon on fire.  It took 25 years for people to stop mentioning about it.  Well it was something to remember me for.  Later we set it up and while waiting for full dark John causally walked over to it and looked in the eyepiece and said three galaxies were showing.  John moved back to Boone Iowa and we never heard from him again.  He probably has some relatives back there who could possibly know of his Unitron.  Evered never mentioned anything about them working together in any kind of meeting place. He was a great observer and his legacy lives on.

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#38 Tim Hager

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 01:01 PM

Tim- I do not know if John ever finished his RPA articles. I think he was aware of Burnums work at Lowell on his manuals and this may have had in influence on John.  John showed up at my front door one day and introduced himself.  He was an engineer at GE in Phoenix in the days when GE made computers here in Phoenix.  I think he found me because of other GE guys who knew of my observatory and telescopes.  He was always in frail health I think because of Asthma.  Where he did all of his observing from I don't know, but in those days of the early sixties it was still fairly dark in the Paradise Valley area.  When Ikeya Seki rounded the sun and was visible in the noon day, he showed up and spent the rest of the afternoon at my house observing.  That was some treat and probably we will never be able to see anything like that again.  I had built a 12.5 inch richfield and took it up to a star party at the Lines place in Mayer,Az.  It was put on the back seat of my new station wagon.  When I got to Mayer I was late and stopped at the top of a hill and asked Dick Lines where he wanted me to park.  THe sun was just setting and hit the 12.5 at a diagonal and the sun set the door of my wagon on fire.  It took 25 years for people to stop mentioning about it.  Well it was something to remember me for.  Later we set it up and while waiting for full dark John causally walked over to it and looked in the eyepiece and said three galaxies were showing.  John moved back to Boone Iowa and we never heard from him again.  He probably has some relatives back there who could possibly know of his Unitron.  Evered never mentioned anything about them working together in any kind of meeting place. He was a great observer and his legacy lives on.

Regards

Keith Parizek

Keith - thanks for the input.. The story about the sun setting the car on fire is a gem.  I can see why it lived on so long.smile.gif

 

Thank you for the information on Mallas.  I know that he made the observations for the Messier Album and the RPA articles from Covina Ca.  His move to Iowa is new information.  It seemed to be a huge labor of love to compile all of the observations for the Observer's Catalog.  It would be a shame if it was lost to history.

 

...Tim



#39 pstarr

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:10 PM

Oh yes, I do remember the infamous Celestron Williams cold camera. That thing drove me nuts. I was trying hard to utilize that beast but only managed to get a single blurry image out of M42 and that was it. The setup was a pita, a noburger. Breaking the dry ice into small pieces and taking care not to burn your hands from touching the steaming stuff you had to pack the cold chamber, insert a single frame of Kodak TRI X, aim the telescope, guide, open shutter, close shutter, remove single frame into a lightproof developer drum and hope for the best. The Celestron cold camera was the Edsel of telescope accessories.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edsel

I actually made one using Kreimer's design. I used a C02 fire extinguisher for the dry ice cooling. I had a tube installed that went all the way to the botton to get the liquid C02. You had to be careful to just crack it open a bit as to not get the full force of the extinguisher. I had a safety on it so you could just open the valve a small amount. Worked OK but was a pain. Went to spectroscopic film instead of cooled Tri-X.


Edited by pstarr, 03 February 2018 - 02:10 PM.

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#40 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 05:10 PM

"Evered never mentioned anything about (he and Mallas) working together in any kind of meeting place."

Keith, you knew them both, but did they know each other well; or, were they personally acquainted only remotely, through their separate work on "The Messier Album?"
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#41 Keith Parizek

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:48 PM

Joe-  John was a very quiet type of person.  Evered was even quieter.  I was never privy to their work together on this book.  You knew more about John in California and I wonder if a lot of those observations were really ones he had in the barn before he moved to Arizona.  Evered lived in downtown Prescott when he did many of the photos.  I first met him when he came down to our Phoenix club and showed some of his photos.  THey were spectacular to say the least. That had to be in 1963 or 1964.  He lived with his mother and took care of her.  They had the Prescott house and a winter big trailer not far from where I lived.  We became friends and my family brought him out of his shell.  He became like a brother to me. He really liked my wifes cooking and we could eat like two horses.   I think everybody in Phoenix knew we had a genius and he was forever helping other people like me. I really think he could never figure out how somebody like me could have so much enthusiam and so little talent.  I wish I could figure out how to attach pictures of my domes, scopes, etc. that would spruce up my boring writing.

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#42 jcruse64

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:16 AM

Trust me, it's NOT boring. Thanks for sharing some history!!


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#43 jcruse64

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 03:50 PM

Also looking forward to seeing some pictures, Keith. Are your pictures in digital format? If so, and the file size is too big, you can use Paint, a program that comes on pretty much all Windows computers, to make a smaller copy of any picture (always do a "Save As" option when doing this, NOT "Save"). On this forum, when you post on a thread like this one, use the non-green button next to the green button labeled "Post"; it is labeled "More Reply Options. It shows the tools to attach files in your replies.

Probably everyone on here loves pictures, lol.



#44 Keith Parizek

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 04:02 PM

Trust me, it's NOT boring. Thanks for sharing some history!!



#45 Keith Parizek

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:16 PM

When the big dome was finished at Alpine Evered and I made a camera using a Kodak Aero Ektar.  we could not make this camera hold a vacuum so we started using 4x5 glass plates of 103sE.  We sensitized these in hydrogen and got some great results.  Unfortunately I gave the plates to Dave Erickson of Hubble telescope fame and cannot do anything with them anymore.  You can still see one of the results if you can find an Astronomy magazine of June 1979.  It made the centerfold.  We made another camera using a copy of a Ross wide angle express five inch focus stopped to f-5.6.  This took an amazing 40x52 degree hunk of sky on a 4x5 glass plate.  I will always regret not doing the whole sky with this setup.  However it was always on to the next project or experiment.  We wanted to be able to do colored milky way  photography with these wide fields and bigger image scale. While looking for ways to make a sensitizing chamber for 4x5 and 8x10 film we inadvertandly caused lots of excitement and confusion in department and kitchen stores.  We would show up and ask the clerks to see the chicken pots and pressure cookers .  When they showed us them we would pull out our tape measures and start sizing them up to see if our holders would fit.  I noticed all of them would stand off to one side and whisper to each other.  The search was on then to find a lens that could do color for our photos.  We tried dozens but never found one.  Some of the great ones were Cooke 20 focus, Zeiss telekon 30 focus, etc.  When Kodak stopped making 103aE these were not used and sit idle.  THe little dome at Alpine holds 2  Zeiss telikons and an 8 inch Triplet of 55 focus designed by good friend Dick Buckroeder and built by another friend Ken Hebert.  I still hope to be able to post pictures of all these things later if I get some help from some computer whizzes.

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#46 Tim Hager

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:05 AM

Wonderful stories Keith. We are loving every word. I see that you got a mention in one of Mallas' articles in a later RPA about an observation with your 12" f/4 telescope. It might have been of the North America Nebula but I'm not sure. If I can image the relevant passage, I'll post it this weekend. If I can't, I'll just quote it.

....Tim
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#47 Keith Parizek

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 09:47 PM

Evered eventually moved out of Prescott and settled in at Highland Pines.  This is a development west of Prescott and he built a log cabin and observatory at the highest point there.  What a view as you could see all the Flagstaff mountains, mountains at Kingman, and down into Oak Creek as well as north of Payson.  I used to go up there to watch the Perseid meteors.  I would spend a lot of time on his deck spying around the countryside. When I built my present place at Rio Verde,Az. it had to have a great deck.  Evered was financally independent and was free to go with me to Alpine whenever I had time.  His original interest in astronomy was not as important to him as Radio, TV, Ham radio and photography.  He never lost his temper or swore, but I made up what he did not do. 

Richard and Helen Lines lived in Phoenix,  There home was kind of gathering place for a lot of star folks.  I always called Helen our den mother.  They built  an 8 inch reflector scope and it was a good one.  Dick found Comet Seki-Lines with this scope at a star party at milepost 196 on the Payson highway(87). He was a civil engineer type and all of my mountings were modifications of his original design.  They were extended polar axis to allow long exposures to go past the meridian.  Later they bought property near Mayer ,Az.  and we used to go up there before they built any structures to have star parties.  Later they built a home and observatory.  It was written up in an old S&T.  They built a cold camera with Evered

's help, but they eventually moved into variable stars using a photometer they built. This is getting pretty wordy so I will try to pick up more of this later if anyone is still interested.

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#48 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 10:17 PM

"Interested?" Fascinated! This is the hidden history that so many of us want to hear, the context in which the great book was written.
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#49 deSitter

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 10:30 PM

When the big dome was finished at Alpine Evered and I made a camera using a Kodak Aero Ektar.  we could not make this camera hold a vacuum so we started using 4x5 glass plates of 103sE.  We sensitized these in hydrogen and got some great results.  Unfortunately I gave the plates to Dave Erickson of Hubble telescope fame and cannot do anything with them anymore.  You can still see one of the results if you can find an Astronomy magazine of June 1979.  It made the centerfold.  We made another camera using a copy of a Ross wide angle express five inch focus stopped to f-5.6.  This took an amazing 40x52 degree hunk of sky on a 4x5 glass plate.  I will always regret not doing the whole sky with this setup.  However it was always on to the next project or experiment.  We wanted to be able to do colored milky way  photography with these wide fields and bigger image scale. While looking for ways to make a sensitizing chamber for 4x5 and 8x10 film we inadvertandly caused lots of excitement and confusion in department and kitchen stores.  We would show up and ask the clerks to see the chicken pots and pressure cookers .  When they showed us them we would pull out our tape measures and start sizing them up to see if our holders would fit.  I noticed all of them would stand off to one side and whisper to each other.  The search was on then to find a lens that could do color for our photos.  We tried dozens but never found one.  Some of the great ones were Cooke 20 focus, Zeiss telekon 30 focus, etc.  When Kodak stopped making 103aE these were not used and sit idle.  THe little dome at Alpine holds 2  Zeiss telikons and an 8 inch Triplet of 55 focus designed by good friend Dick Buckroeder and built by another friend Ken Hebert.  I still hope to be able to post pictures of all these things later if I get some help from some computer whizzes.

Regards

Keith Parizek

That's just a great story :)

 

-drl


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#50 Geo31

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 11:14 PM

"Interested?" Fascinated! This is the hidden history that so many of us want to hear, the context in which the great book was written.

Indeed.

 

I bought a copy of the book at a great telescope shop in Tucson earlier this month, solely due to this thread and your stories Keith.  Please keep them coming.




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