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1960s-70s Empire Model 614 Galaxy

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#1 oldmanastro

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 09:49 PM

I posted this in the thread Post a Picture of your Classic Telescope... As I indicated this was a telescope that I got locally and paid less than a dinner for two at a hamburger fast food place. This was an act of pity toward a telescope that I am sure would have ended in the trash. It was placed aside and just recently I cleaned it up, readjusted the mount, cleaned the optics etc. The telescope came with two .965" eyepieces, a 15mm H and a 4mm Ramsden plus a 2X barlow and a very bad mirror diagonal. I don't think that this diagonal was originally part of the package. Anyway I took out and tested it a couple of day ago to find out surprisingly good optics. The eyepieces used were .965" Kellners and my best 6mm Ramsden. The W mark on the focuser IDs the manufacturer but I can't find it in the Japanese Telescope symbols thread. Anyone knows what this is? It looks like a two Vs crossed between them.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido

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#2 Russell Smith

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 11:48 PM

I would also like to know the maker.

#3 Chuck Hards

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 03:35 PM

I have to think that is an 80's model, probably Halley-era.  That mark has never been pinned down, as far as I know.

 

My only Empire is this 60's model.  Actually a nice scope, especially with modern eyepieces.  The peep sights work well on bright objects.  It is a Towa.  

 

004.jpg  005.jpg  006.jpg  

 

 


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#4 oldmanastro

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:47 PM

I have to think that is an 80's model, probably Halley-era.  That mark has never been pinned down, as far as I know.

 

My only Empire is this 60's model.  Actually a nice scope, especially with modern eyepieces.  The peep sights work well on bright objects.  It is a Towa.  

 

attachicon.gif004.jpg attachicon.gif005.jpg attachicon.gif006.jpg

Could be early 80s or late 70s. Maybe someone has an Empire products catalog and may be able to date it. that Towa Empire looks pristine and very nice. Definitely 60s quality.

 

Guido


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#5 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 09:32 AM

I used to think that Empire was a precursor of Tower, which became Sears, now I don't think that progression is correct.  Empire seems to be a brand unto themselves; never common in the US market.



#6 Terra Nova

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:57 AM

I used to think that Empire was a precursor of Tower, which became Sears, now I don't think that progression is correct.  Empire seems to be a brand unto themselves; never common in the US market.

I always assumed that Tower was an exclusive Sears brand name for optics and electronics, just like they used the exclusive brand names Kenmore for appliances and Craftsman for tools. Sears sold telescopes, binoculars, cameras, movie projectors, record players, and tape recorders under the brand name in the 1960s and 70s. I figured this was because of the Sears Tower in Chicago which was for a time, the tallest building in the world. Planning for the Tower began in the late1960s with construction beginning in 1970 and completion in 1973. If you examine the old Sears Wishbooks and Catalogs of that period (digital archives), you will find many Tower brand products. 


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#7 ryanr256

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:08 AM

I've always connected Empire with Jason. Similar colors and same maker.

-Bob
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#8 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:19 AM

I always assumed that Tower was an exclusive Sears brand name for optics and electronics, just like they used the exclusive brand names Kenmore for appliances and Craftsman for tools. Sears sold telescopes, binoculars, cameras, movie projectors, record players, and tape recorders under the brand name in the 1960s and 70s. I figured this was because of the Sears Tower in Chicago which was for a time, the tallest building in the world. Planning for the Tower began in the late1960s with construction beginning in 1970 and completion in 1973. If you examine the old Sears Wishbooks and Catalogs of that period (digital archives), you will find many Tower brand products. 

Sure, the association of Tower with Sears is not in question, no worries there.  I mistakenly associated Empire with them, but now I think Empire had nothing to do with either.  



#9 DreamWeaver

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 01:04 PM

I've always connected Empire with Jason. Similar colors and same maker.

-Bob

I found this article doing a quick Google search of Jason and Empire.  https://www.opticsre...binoculars.html

 

"Although they started out as "Jake and Son," the name was soon shortened and formalized to "Jason" with headquarters offices in Kansas City, Missouri. Empire, which evolved as part of the firm's name, was a brand of products sold by the firm in its early years. Dick was the one whose vision promoted their binoculars and telescopes into a competitive force in the United States market for sports optics."


Edited by DreamWeaver, 27 February 2020 - 01:18 PM.

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#10 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 01:13 PM

I found this article doing a quick search 

 

I found this article doing a quick Google search of Jason and Empire.  https://www.opticsre...binoculars.html

 

"Although they started out as "Jake and Son," the name was soon shortened and formalized to "Jason" with headquarters offices in Kansas City, Missouri. Empire, which evolved as part of the firm's name, was a brand of products sold by the firm in its early years. Dick was the one whose vision promoted their binoculars and telescopes into a competitive force in the United States market for sports optics."

 

Thanks Keith, I can't get the link to open.  Office firewall.  Will try from home later tonight.



#11 Kasmos

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 02:52 PM

I received my first telescope (Mayflower 814), for xmas in '76. Shortly before and afterwards I always had to check out the scopes and binoculars I'd run across in department stores, so remember Jasons as Jason/Empire. That fits in with the time frame mentioned in the linked article. I believe my first pair of binoculars (7x50), purchased around '77-78 were labeled as Jason/Empire. Being so long ago it's possible it was just Empire.

 

Joining this site a few years ago, whenever a Jason came up I'd automatically think Jason Empire, and wondered why I wasn't seeing them labeled that way. Do any of the scopes have both names on them?


Edited by Kasmos, 27 February 2020 - 02:54 PM.


#12 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 04:01 PM

Mine is Empire only.  I do not have the manual.



#13 clamchip

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 09:04 PM

My 7 x 35mm binocular is Jason Empire.

From 1966.

I was nine, knee high to a grasshopper.

Robert

 

post-50896-0-50360500-1515117847_thumb.jpg


Edited by clamchip, 27 February 2020 - 09:06 PM.

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#14 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:05 PM

So then, what model Jason scope would be a contemporary of the Empire 614 originally posted?  A 325?  I no longer have any Jasons but had this one briefly.  What years was the Jason, and by extension, the Empire sold?

 

325 complete.jpg

 

 


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#15 oldmanastro

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 04:24 PM

I remember seeing the Jason-Empire names connected at some point in the past. It's no surprise that the Empire 614 Galaxy looks so much like a Jason. Some years back I missed on an equatorial mounted Jason with the infamous integrated finder. By the time I called the seller it was gone. The way that the telescope pivots in the fork is not what I see in my Sears altazimuth telescopes, not even in the terrestrial model that has no slow motion control in altitude. Here it is. The screw on the left threads into the fork but the one on the right threads into the black holder. It pivots freely in the fork. The left one provides the correct pressure for the tube to remain in any altitude position. 

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#16 GreyDay

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 06:41 PM

I have a couple of scopes with the "circleW" or double V, neither are top quality. Both scopes are okay performance wise but built to a budget. For example the OTA is aluminium but real thin, the objective cell is push on and held with self tapping screws not screw on like towa etc, tripod legs are thin and fold up instead of sliding, they're held at the middle with bolt and wingnut. The focuser is all plastic etc. Generally speaking not good but better than some cheaper chinese scopes. My money would go on a Towa over the circle W every time.

 

Optically they're not bad and it's good to see them being used. Chuck is probably right about them being Halley era, they're built down to a price point the way Tasco went during that period.




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