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1965 Sears Telescopes

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#1 oldmanastro

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 04:05 PM

About 20 years ago I found two Sears catalogs in a garage sale. They were both the fall and Christmas catalogs. I have kept them in a sealed plastic box all these years. Sometimes my wife and I go through both catalogs just for fun and lately saddened by the loss of our favorite store. As usual I go right to the same telescope pages that I perused as a kid. There, in page 1494-95 I find all of them. The lineup of astronomical telescopes include the economical altazimuth mounted 2.4" refractor and goes from there to the pedestal mounted 76mm equatorial. I have collected almost all of them except the pedestal equatorial. Today I decided to share both of those pages. The model numbers are not exactly the usual ones but they are one and the same telescopes that we have come to know and cherish. Here they are.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido

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#2 DLuders

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 04:16 PM

In hindsight, the 1965 price for Telescope #1 at the time ($299.95) would equate to a whopping $2,446.96 in today's (2020) dollars, per  https://www.in2013do...5?amount=299.95 .  It's good that modern automation and "economies of scale" have reduced the price of comparable modern telescopes.  


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#3 grif 678

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 04:36 PM

In hindsight, the 1965 price for Telescope #1 at the time ($299.95) would equate to a whopping $2,446.96 in today's (2020) dollars, per  https://www.in2013do...5?amount=299.95 .  It's good that modern automation and "economies of scale" have reduced the price of comparable modern telescopes.  

I really enjoyed those pictures, brings back many memories of the thousands of times that I use to look at them in the Sears catalog. After watching a Flash Gordon movie, or one of the old Sci-fi movies, looking at those scope ads was really exciting, wondering what I would be able do see if I had one of those.



#4 oldmanastro

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 04:55 PM

In hindsight, the 1965 price for Telescope #1 at the time ($299.95) would equate to a whopping $2,446.96 in today's (2020) dollars, per  https://www.in2013do...5?amount=299.95 .  It's good that modern automation and "economies of scale" have reduced the price of comparable modern telescopes.  

So true. An 8" SCT in a computerized mount is a bargain. Back in 1965 4" Unitrons were at the $800.00 mark fully equipped and excellent but still a 4" refractor. Questars were also about $800.00 if I remember well.



#5 SpaceConqueror3

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 05:05 PM

In hindsight, the 1965 price for Telescope #1 at the time ($299.95) would equate to a whopping $2,446.96 in today's (2020) dollars, per  https://www.in2013do...5?amount=299.95 .  It's good that modern automation and "economies of scale" have reduced the price of comparable modern telescopes.  

There is no doubt that we live in time of plenty. Almost every consumer demand is met with a comparative pittance when compared to any time time in the past. Despite this abundance and increased quality, it's seems to be taken almost completely for granted. 



#6 marsbase

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 05:06 PM

I enjoyed looking at telescopes in the Sears catalogs when I was a kid.

I did get this one for Christmas in 1973. I still have the scope and catalog smile.gif

My Avatar on the left is the Mercury transit I photographed through this scope.

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Edited by marsbase, 07 February 2020 - 06:35 PM.

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#7 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 05:20 PM

What interesting is, most of those Sears telescopes are highly sought after in today's market on Ebay like sites, and still have held their value, even when neglected ones are discovered and bought.

Many of those mass market scopes would beat out anything sold today, as most of today's mass market scopes have way too much plastic in them.

Steel and glass are the only way to go for me. As you can see why, they have held up through many hands and with a little elbow grease, are still useful, and are becoming heirlooms, to pass on to another generation.


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#8 djones498

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 06:53 PM

I got a 60mm like number 3 for Christmas around 1964 except mine was out of the Bennett Brothers Blue Book catalog. I used it a lot, then sold it when I was in colllege and wanted a Dynascope 6" but never bought one. Got a 90mm Bushnell when the kids were old enough to observe and one of the comets was prominent. And have upgraded since. Still would like to find a Dynascope to see what I missed!


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#9 oldmanastro

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 07:38 PM

I forgot to mention that I have #4 and 2 in the catalog since 1965 and 66 respectively. Number three is a recent acquisition and also the 60mm terrestrial. They were made to last a lifetime and more. Both telescopes are still in use. In 1969 I tried to buy an RV6 Dynascope but the cost of shipping across the pond was too high. Eventually I was given one 26 years ago by an amateur friend but it came in parts over a period of years, optical tube assembly first and then equatorial head and tube rings. The pedestal is from another RV6 and came from a group of Dynascope enthusiasts in the mainland.

 

The pedestal mounted 76mm f/16 disappeared from the catalog after 66 or 67. Then came the white tubes all made by Towa. The 76mm f/16 became the 80mm f/15 (model 4454). In the lineup above 1 and 2 are Royal Astro Optical telescopes. The rest are circle T. 


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#10 Terra Nova

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 07:52 PM

In hindsight, the 1965 price for Telescope #1 at the time ($299.95) would equate to a whopping $2,446.96 in today's (2020) dollars, per  https://www.in2013do...5?amount=299.95 .  It's good that modern automation and "economies of scale" have reduced the price of comparable modern telescopes.  

Once Chinas economy tanks because of the current plague, and what that hasn’t killed off the tariffs have, I wonder if telescope manufacturing will return to the US and possibly more scopes coming out of Japan again and maybe Germany too.


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#11 dave brock

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 08:16 PM

Interesting that an American store would mention Proxima Centauri as a selling point, which is barely visible

in a 3" scope, also suggesting that it's a double star. Also, does the no.1 scope really have 3 setting circles?



#12 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 09:39 PM

Interesting that an American store would mention Proxima Centauri as a selling point, which is barely visible

in a 3" scope, also suggesting that it's a double star. Also, does the no.1 scope really have 3 setting circles?

Yes, most of those scopes had three setting circles. They counted the base as well, which really was only good for terrain plotting if you had North really lined up as a hold over from simple yoke scopes that could (in theory) be used as a poor man's surveyor transit.

And as a side note, most of these scopes came with a Rand McNally Solar system map in the 60's, and if you looked very closely at Pluto, it has the half heart shape that matches to a "T" to the one that they took recently and had never before seen until now.

Coincidence?

I think we now know Ceres is round, there is also a town in California named Ceres...lol

 

12355813095_c059226507_b.jpg


Edited by GalaxyPiper, 07 February 2020 - 09:43 PM.

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#13 clearwaterdave

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:02 PM

Mine looks like #4 in the first book.,or #5 in the second one.,there was no date anywhere on the paperwork.,cheers.,

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#14 sdedalus83

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:21 PM

Has anyone seen the 6337 shown in the ad? It looks like it has a different focuser and mount than the earlier Royal and APL or the later Towa scopes.



#15 Bomber Bob

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:26 PM

I have collected almost all of them except the pedestal equatorial.

 

I had my 1964 Model 6336 on the CN Classifieds a while back -- no takers.  Now, I'm glad it didn't sell.

 

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#16 bobhen

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 07:44 AM

After looking through a neighbor’s, that year for Christmas I got the number 4, alt/az version in the photo above. The scope is long gone but it started my 55-year astro journey.

 

Bob


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#17 G-Tower

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 09:02 AM

Many years ago I bought a brand new 90mm Sears 6345, great optics shaky mount...


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#18 Ben H

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:09 AM

What is the difference between the 6324 in the catalog and the 6336 posted by Bomber Bob?

I've never understood Sears model #s, they're as bad as John Deere. 


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#19 Mike E.

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:30 PM

About 20 years ago I found two Sears catalogs in a garage sale. They were both the fall and Christmas catalogs. I have kept them in a sealed plastic box all these years. Sometimes my wife and I go through both catalogs just for fun and lately saddened by the loss of our favorite store. As usual I go right to the same telescope pages that I perused as a kid. There, in page 1494-95 I find all of them. The lineup of astronomical telescopes include the economical altazimuth mounted 2.4" refractor and goes from there to the pedestal mounted 76mm equatorial. I have collected almost all of them except the pedestal equatorial. Today I decided to share both of those pages. The model numbers are not exactly the usual ones but they are one and the same telescopes that we have come to know and cherish. Here they are.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido

1965 is when this hobby started for me as a kid. I remember looking through the Sears catalog and dreaming of having scope number 2 pictured. Many years later after I became an adult, I happened to be driving by a garage sale and decided to stop and have a look. I was looking for camping gear and spied a Coleman lantern on a long box. In the box was the scope I craved as a child, a Sears 6339-A refractor ( Royal Astro ) complete and in mint condition. Needless to say it and the lantern came home with me. I still have the lantern, and a couple of years ago I gave the scope to a good friend; and I still see both he and the scope regularly.  smile.png

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#20 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 08:35 AM

1965 is when this hobby started for me as a kid. I remember looking through the Sears catalog and dreaming of having scope number 2 pictured. Many years later after I became an adult, I happened to be driving by a garage sale and decided to stop and have a look. I was looking for camping gear and spied a Coleman lantern on a long box. In the box was the scope I craved as a child, a Sears 6339-A refractor ( Royal Astro ) complete and in mint condition. Needless to say it and the lantern came home with me. I still have the lantern, and a couple of years ago I gave the scope to a good friend; and I still see both he and the scope regularly.  smile.png

Great looking telescope! This one has the gray paint. Sears sold several color schemes during those years. I have observed that the older ones have a brownish tone, then gray followed by a bluish-turquoise and finally white. Same thing with the trademark in the telescopes. First Tower, then Scope followed by Discoverer. Some are marked just Sears.



#21 Mike E.

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 08:52 AM

Great looking telescope! This one has the gray paint. Sears sold several color schemes during those years. I have observed that the older ones have a brownish tone, then gray followed by a bluish-turquoise and finally white. Same thing with the trademark in the telescopes. First Tower, then Scope followed by Discoverer. Some are marked just Sears.

My very first telescope was from Sears. It was a return which my Dad got for me at a Sears underground parking lot sale in Glendale California. The scope was a 50 or 60mm refractor that was incomplete, but my Dad got it working good enough to bring a smile to this kid's face.


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