Thanks Stephen for your info on these interesting instruments !!! The 7T 304X I have - # 0461178- has the distinctive RAO marking on the focuser but does'nt have the adjustable objective cell. Smooth mount, and the single knob on the tube clamp. It also has the metal objective cover and small wooden tray as well. I also added a 1.25 threaded eyepiece adapter as an accessory last year that allows me to use eyepieces of that size on the scope if I choose . Gary
Gary, I just looked at your photos for serial number 0461178.
Here is link to your posting of your very nice example of the Tasco 304 Power that I believe fits the late 1959 to mid1960 time frame.
Maybe we are not using the same description for some of the parts. But I see the 4 hole metal accessory tray and the pair of wooden dividers for storing the assembled scope in the wood box. The pair of wood dividers now also have a pair of holes in each divider where two small brass rods that IIRC are 2mm OD have threaded ends for brass hex nuts that are used to hold the wooden dividers together as a unit. More often than not, one or both brass rods are missing from this version of the scope. Many times only one divider is found as well.
Also as it should, it has the Astro Optical stamp on the focuser name plate.
Last it does have the newer objective cell as it should.
Naturally, there are exceptions to each group of serial numbers which I'm sure are due to inventory and or if the scope was crated near the end or beginning of that group of scopes.
Let me know if I do not have the correct scope linked above for this posting of mine. Thks.