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EVER OWN AN AKRON TELESCOPE?

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#1 Lew Chilton

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 01:23 PM

In the 1950s-1980s, The Akron was a Los Angeles-based department store that was a forerunner of retail stores like Pier One Imports. They were very popular. You never knew what they might have on sale. Their eclectic merchandise was both foreign and domestic.

Beginning in the mid-1950s, Akron began importing a 2.4 inch Japanese refractor, complete with accessories in a mahogoney case. The price of the outfit went for about $80 in 1955 and gradually increased over time. By 1959, as the ad below attests, the price had risen $10. To the best of my memory, Akron stopped selling them in the 1970s, when the price had risen to about $150. Sometime in the 1980s, Akron went out of business. I remember that the Akron near me was taken over by Circuit City.

I never looked thru one or knew who produced them for Akron. Did any CN'er ever own one? If so, how would you rate them optically and mechanically? Any pictures of one would be welcome. :grin:

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  • 1129805-AKRON AD.jpg


#2 trainsktg

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 04:52 PM

Interesting. Never heard of one. It looks to be a sturdy scope, though. From the picture it appears to be slightly bigger than the standard 2.4" of the time. Closer to a 2.5" scope.

As a side note, my mid-60's Tasco came from Dayton's, another now-gone department store.

Keith

#3 dbledsoe

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 08:52 PM

Lew,

I went to college in Inglewood California from 1970 to 1974. There was an Akron store not far from my apartment and I remember the telescopes because I lusted after them. Unfortunately being a barely making it student on the GI Bill it was completely out of the question, not to mention I was in the light pollution center of the world with nothing but a Suzuki 50cc motorbike for transportation. In retrospect I believe the Akron telescopes were rebadged Lafayette scopes, of which I've had several of in later years, but I am going by memory. I suspect there was a difference in quality, even though the same Japanese company likely made them. Akron was not known for high quality but they did sell a lot of goods for the common man/family. I would venture a guess that it is similar to what Synta is these days, sometimes you might get a good one, sometimes you might not. That was Japanese quality in those days, inconsistent.

Don

#4 Lew Chilton

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:18 AM

Hi Don,

I was living in W. Los Angeles, in the Palms area, at the time you were living in Inglewood. I too lusted after the Akron refractor, but I, like you, couldn't afford one. I was also going to school on the G.I. Bill about the same time, or just a few years earlier.

Did you ever attend any meetings of the L.A. Astronomical Society? If you did, then we probably met.

Lew


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