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OH that SMELL!

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#1 orion61

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 03:10 AM

    Am I alone but who else loves the smell when you find a MINT scope, OR pair of Binoculars? Especially those made from Japan from the later 50's-early1980's

 I dearly miss my 11X80 Celestrons.. Beautifully

 She had excellent optics, but  when I opened the case it smelled like my Grandmothers musty closet when she passed!

    I was SO VERY lucky to have  a complete 76mm F-15 complete in the case with the original Wooden Leg Green cloth tie down straps, AND the factory anti humidity  packs, As soon as I cracked that wooden case that beautiful smell filled my room.

  Am I the only crazy person here that , and the smell Of a brand New Book?

I have lost the name of who I bought my late 50's Mayflower, from.  That was some person's life long dream back in 58, It still kicked the

Hind end of my 60's Questar! On top of that I was gifted an A/C drive motor for her. It just shows the heart and generosity of some of the members here!

 

Sincerely,

Duane

 

PS: sorry for being away for a couple years I apologize. I did not do it on purpose...


Edited by orion61, 19 September 2020 - 03:30 AM.

 

#2 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 03:47 AM

Because of age and physical condition, I do almost All of my observing here at my apartments, about 50 yards away, past the clotheslines. It's the best combination of darkness and ease. But, - it's also only about 15 yards from the Apt's. Septic tank. Some nights worse than others, but though I'm not exactly looking up to the Heavens from the gutter - it's not a Rose Garden either. There was an antlered buck out there last night. Tomato Plants are one of my favorite "smells", - New Books Do smell good. As a kid, a baseball glove was one of my favorites. 


 

#3 Kasmos

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:12 AM

I've thought about doing a thread on how old telescope boxes smell. It seems like each has it's own distinct odor. The three that come to mind are the 60/800mm Crescent, the 60/710mm Kenko, and the Unitron 114. They don't have a bad old musty smell but rather a good and familar fragrance that greets me every time I opened them up. The Unitron in particular has a somewhat sweet (woody?), smell. I'll have to go and smell a few of them and try to analyze what they remind me of.

 

BTW, I have a pair of 11x80 Celestron binoculars from about 1980-82 and while I wouldn't call it musty, they do have a certain smell.


Edited by Kasmos, 19 September 2020 - 04:13 AM.

 

#4 AstroKerr

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 05:44 AM

Sorry...sorry, don't mean to intrude - Nurse will be 'round shortly with the meds tray... she may smell of iodine if that's alright, sorry...


 

#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 05:51 AM

Interesting topic! I dare say the first of its kind here on CN.

 

One more thing to put on the list of things to check, when considering buying a new or used telescope. Problem is those blasted masks get in the way... unforeseen consequence.

 

My bad list:

 

>septic

>road kill

>skunk

>burning plastic

>litter box

>leaking gas

>burnt rubber

>forest fire

>cigarette smoke

>dead fish

 

My good list:

 

>roses

>oranges

>lilacs

>baked bread

>new car

>old leather

>photographic darkroom

>fresh tarmac

>movie popcorn

>new partner           Tom

 

 

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#6 Senex Bibax

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:36 AM

Over on the Binoculars forum there are a number of posts that mention the special smell that most Soviet-era binocular cases have, like smoked fish. Maybe they used sturgeon skin for the leather? 


 

#7 Beeham

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:51 AM

A few that resonate with me:

 

- The smell of the old red/blue/clear handles on Craftsman screwdrivers takes me back to my dad's toolbox when I was a kid

- Walnut lumber on the table saw

- Non-pollution-controlled engines running a tad rich on fuel...go kart races

- Leather shoes

- Post-bonfire smell that sticks to your clothes

- Good cognac

- Play-doh...smells like childhood

 

A few that I strongly dislike:

 

- Burning electrical wiring...panic-inducing

- Natural gas...even worse

- High-sulfur gear oil, like used in manual transmissions and truck axles

- Roadkill...nothing worse when you're out on a cross-country run and you start smelling it a mile off

- Ammonia

- Burning clutch on a manual transmission

- Microwave popcorn left in the oven too long

 

Cheers!


 

#8 CharlieB

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:58 AM

Please, let us keep to scopes, like the OP mentions in the first post.  Thank you.

 

Charlie


 

#9 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:31 AM

The wooden case of my Mayflower 814 that I got brand new in October of 1965 still has a bit of that wonderful wood smell, Lauan, aka Philippine Mahogany I think? I love it! I always thought of it as ‘that new telescope smell.’


 

#10 Michael Covington

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:07 AM

When I had my Criterion RV-6 (1970-75), the bakelite (?) smell of the tube was, for me, the smell of astronomy.  Do restored RV-6's still have their scent, or have they lost it after all these years?


 

#11 highfnum

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:14 AM

still have that rv6 smell

50 years later


 

#12 PawPaw

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:22 AM

When I had my Criterion RV-6 (1970-75), the bakelite (?) smell of the tube was, for me, the smell of astronomy.  Do restored RV-6's still have their scent, or have they lost it after all these years?

Never had the pleasure of owning a RV6 but I have owned several Edmund's with the Phenolic red OTA's that were built in the late 70's and they still have a very strong smell.  To me it triggers good memories.   I am surprised on how bakelite continues to outgas after 63 years.  My Goto 105's Cell has a very strong bakelite smell that is almost overwhelming......Caution too much smelling of bakelite can make you dizzy!    The old grease used on these classics trigger memories for me too......probably because my nose was usually buried close to the rack and pinion!  

 

Those wooden boxes are quite aromatic as well.  Pine has a stronger smell to me then the Lauan but I enjoy them both.  

 

Don


 

#13 steve t

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:25 AM

Since 1973 I've normally line the metal tubes, of my scope, with cork, Just a faint whiff of that stuff makes me thing of telescopes 


 

#14 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:44 AM

When I had my Criterion RV-6 (1970-75), the bakelite (?) smell of the tube was, for me, the smell of astronomy.  Do restored RV-6's still have their scent, or have they lost it after all these years?

My 1971 Dynascope still has that smell -- even after I repainted the interior.  My Tinsley Cass is even older, and it's gotten several paint jobs, but it still has that antique radio smell to it.

 

I read an article decades ago about how our brains tie specific memories to odors, and that we have better recall of those than anything from our other senses.  Sure seems to be the case with Old Scopes.


 

#15 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 10:06 AM

The smell of the RV6 phenolic tube is ever present. The telescope is 50+ years old and every time I take the dust cap off, the smell is there just waiting to get out. The worst musty smell came from the Sears 4454 box when I first opened it for inspection. The owner had not opened the case in 30 years.. After assembling the telescope, I left the case open for days. A little Febreeze helped.


 

#16 25585

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:21 PM

"Am I alone but who else loves the smell when you find a MINT scope, OR pair of Binoculars? Especially those made from Japan from the later 50's-early1980's

I dearly miss my 11X80 Celestrons.. Beautifully

She had excellent optics, but  when I opened the case it smelled like my Grandmothers musty closet when she passed!

    I was SO VERY lucky to have  a complete 76mm F-15 complete in the case with the original Wooden Leg Green cloth tie down straps, AND the factory anti humidity  packs, As soon as I cracked that wooden case that beautiful smell filled my room.

  Am I the only crazy person here that , and the smell Of a brand New Book?

I have lost the name of who I bought my late 50's Mayflower, from.  That was some person's life long dream back in 58, It still kicked the

Hind end of my 60's Questar! On top of that I was gifted an A/C drive motor for her. It just shows the heart and generosity of some of the members here!

 

Sincerely,

Duane

PS: sorry for being away for a couple years I apologize. I did not do it on purpose..."

 

 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

 

I have a collection of old cameras and binoculars. From my grandfather's glass plate SLR and opera glasses, TLRs, 120 compact rangefinder, early Japanese etc. Wonderful musty museum-like smell. House attic is a multi-generational archive/time capsule.

 

Old leather luggage & wood cases & trunks. Red velvet linings. Cedar, oak, mothballs and beeswax.

 

I get nostalgic looking at the little golden JC oval stickers on my own 80s photo & astro gear! Older Vixen and Tak eyepieces, early Meades, UO, Swift binoculars, Bausch & Lomb made in Japan.

 

Old brass has its own smell too, a combination of old polish and dead or static time. So sad only I am left in my family to appreciate and savour these old treasures, as poignant as old photographs sometimes.

 

Empty saddles in the old corral,

Where do you ride tonight?


 

#17 davidc135

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 03:12 PM

My DX-8 has a great, outgassing, chemical smell!  And the beautiful smell of Russian leather that some binocular cases were made from. I read it was tanned with birch bark,   David


Edited by davidc135, 19 September 2020 - 03:16 PM.

 

#18 TOMDEY

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:05 PM

My Thirty Six Inch Dobsonian wafts the sweet smell of success, blended with the intoxicating bouquet of Furniture-Grade Solid Cherry with Walnut Accents!

 

~click on~ >>>

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#19 Stevegeo

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:31 PM

Tom,   me thinks your monster scope smells like hard earned money... and maybe furniture polish.

Lemon PLEDGE?  Lol..

And yes my Dynamax 8 has a smell as well, hard to describe,  like fiberglass or blondo curing with a touch of   

Bakelite... I never noticed it. But the wife, she's got the snoz of a bloodhound... 

Stevegeo 


 

#20 RichA

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:34 PM

    Am I alone but who else loves the smell when you find a MINT scope, OR pair of Binoculars? Especially those made from Japan from the later 50's-early1980's

 I dearly miss my 11X80 Celestrons.. Beautifully

 She had excellent optics, but  when I opened the case it smelled like my Grandmothers musty closet when she passed!

    I was SO VERY lucky to have  a complete 76mm F-15 complete in the case with the original Wooden Leg Green cloth tie down straps, AND the factory anti humidity  packs, As soon as I cracked that wooden case that beautiful smell filled my room.

  Am I the only crazy person here that , and the smell Of a brand New Book?

I have lost the name of who I bought my late 50's Mayflower, from.  That was some person's life long dream back in 58, It still kicked the

Hind end of my 60's Questar! On top of that I was gifted an A/C drive motor for her. It just shows the heart and generosity of some of the members here!

 

Sincerely,

Duane

 

PS: sorry for being away for a couple years I apologize. I did not do it on purpose...

Celestron late 1970's catalogs had a particular smell.  Very unique.


 

#21 Littlegreenman

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:36 PM

Over on the Binoculars forum there are a number of posts that mention the special smell that most Soviet-era binocular cases have, like smoked fish. Maybe they used sturgeon skin for the leather? 

I bought a new pair of Komz 6x30 ultrawide binoculars. They were coated with a Soviet version of Cosmoline:

 

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Cosmoline

 

It was a somewhat unique smell. Like something a Soviet robotic insect might excrete. Or some peculiar herb. It had some tang, but was not really unpleasant except for the persistence and strength. In small quantities it could have been a perfume or cologne.

I tried alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc, etc. Finally six months sitting on a shelf and it faded.


Edited by Littlegreenman, 19 September 2020 - 09:17 PM.

 

#22 TOMDEY

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:49 PM

I was gluing an adapter on the shower stall wall and pointed out to my taskmaster wife that the best silicone adhesive smells of Acetic Acid (very distinctive)... She was not at all impressed when I held the tube up to her nose... But that thing will stick to the fiberglass wall forever! It's the same stuff that holds All Glass Fish Tanks together... and uncountable Newtonian Folding Flats to their stalks.    Tom


 

#23 rcwolpert

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:48 PM

In my mind I can still smell my 1964 Criterion RV-6. That Bakelite tube smell will stick with me to the grave.


 

#24 Compressorguy

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:22 PM

I had a 10” Cave f6 Custom deluxe that had the best interior smell. Reminded me of a vintage Sanford’s Magnum 44 permanent marker. Remember those? 


 

#25 orion61

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:31 PM

I remember in the 1990's I bought a pair of 20x60 Russian surplus Binoculars, but every time I used them they smelled musty!

I have regretted all my life for selling them, they came with yellow filters. I saw the Ring Nebula from withinin the city with better contrast than I have ever seen with ANY binoculars. I wish I could remember their name and find another pair!! All I remember is they were only about $35.00 back then. I stumbled on a pair in an astro site a number of years ago for over $100.00!


Edited by orion61, 19 September 2020 - 08:33 PM.

 


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