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Vintage Reflector OTA - Commercial or Homemade?

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#26 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 05:40 PM

I agree with you JW.  too many high quality parts unless the guy was really rich and could afford to have anything made. 

True.  Somebody paid Tinsley to make my 6" Cass, when the smallest off-the-shelf was a 10" model.


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#27 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 06:04 PM

Here are the two plate cameras, one being for eyepiece projection, and the other is for prime focus photography by replacing the secondary holder with the plate holder. I also have attached a picture of the eyepieces, which includes the camera adapter. 

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#28 ccwemyss

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 08:46 PM

The construction and plate cameras make me wonder if it started life as an auxiliary scope on a larger instrument in an observatory. Then got pulled off and repurposed as a stand-alone scope. Old glass plates had rather slow emulsions, and it would have taken a very strong and stable drive to carry something this heavy, without drift, for long enough to get a useful image. Riding piggyback on a big observatory scope, however, it would have been quite reasonable. 

 

Chip W. 


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#29 sunflowerastro

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 08:54 PM

That is exactly what it was. The lady that I got this scope from has another scope like it but of a much longer focal length. The mount in question is really massive. The other scope appears to have been made by the same company or person. I placed a classified ad today in the hope of finding someone who might want to adopt the other scope and mount.

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#30 sunflowerastro

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 06:21 AM

The shorter OTA would have been swapped in place of the longer OTA on the mount for doing widefield photography.


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#31 starman876

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:42 AM

What a shame Kansas is so far away.  I would love to restore that scope.  Is that a small observatory the scope is housed in?


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#32 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:43 AM

Okay, think back about 100 years:  This was an observatory-class System with 2 dedicated reflectors using a massive EQ.  Could it be an ATM device?  Sure.  But is that likely?  I don't think so.  But we have to be clear on commercial versus amateur constructed.  We know there were small shops that made "custom" astro-gear -- today we have D&G Optical -- that are now long-gone.  Lots of small businesses go under, and this would have been right around the Great Depression...

 

An amateur with $$$$ could've had this made by a company / small business.  The bad thing about these antique scopes is that so many have either lost their labels, or never had any in the first place.


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#33 sunflowerastro

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 11:29 AM

The large OTA and mount are in a dome made of corrugated sheet metal. 


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#34 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 11:56 AM

What a shame Kansas is so far away.  I would love to restore that scope.  Is that a small observatory the scope is housed in?

Oh Yeah:  IF I lived close by, you'd have help - if wanted / needed; otherwise, I'd drop by to gawk offer encouragement.


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#35 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 01:09 PM

You might have pieces from an entire century slowly accumulated. The OTAs look to be very old, 1930's is my guess. The eyepieces look like ones found in catalogs like Jaegers and such in the 60's. The mount looks like WW2 vintage, given the gears and motor used... Its like a treasure trove!
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#36 MikeTahtib

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 02:13 PM

What treasure you found!!  I hope someone capable can scoop all this up and restore it.


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#37 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 02:31 PM

You have an extremely interesting piece there. I too think it was made by an advanced amateur, probably sometime before WWII and that the brass pieces, eyepieces etc. are probably a good deal older. I think it would be a shame to ‘dobify’ such a relic. Being used in the past for astrophotography, it was obviously on an equatorial mount, probably like the one you showed in your pictures, and perhaps even on that mount. I am assuming that there was only one mount in the cashe of astro-artifacts and it wasn’t part of the deal when you acquired this? You might examine some of the ATM books of the period, Allyn Thompson’s, or the three volume set by Albert Ingalls for example; even Sam Brown’s Making Your Own Telescope and consider making something period correct. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a fine tracking mount, maybe even a pipe mount would do. But try and keep it as original to the period as possible.


Edited by Terra Nova, 28 March 2021 - 02:33 PM.

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#38 Kasmos

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 06:35 PM

I hope everyone realizes that the large scope in the obsevatory (post#29) is free to someone who can take it.

 

https://www.cloudyni...t-and-ota-free/y


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#39 Kokatha man

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 07:55 PM

The rectangular eyepiece/camera bracket is made of aluminum and I think it would be difficult for an amateur to manufacture such a bracket that is curved to match the tube. The finder scope was also replaced. The end caps on the steel tube are made of brass.

Great thread - Kansas is a bit too far from my place however..! :rofl:

 

I can only contribute the fact that unless cast, the ep etc ally bracket would need to be panto-graphed out unless it was laboriously hand-profiled out to the tube's O.D.

 

Any more info from or about the lady who is selling/giving away this equipment...like was this a late husband's or family's property..?



#40 sunflowerastro

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:35 PM

The husband of lady that is giving away the mount and large OTA, acquired them from a neighbor about five years ago who had passed away. Her husband recently passed away.


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#41 DAVIDG

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 08:42 PM

  What type of glass does the mirror look to be made of?  If was made in the 20's or earlier  the glass would be plate since Pyrex wasn't available  until the mid 30's and if it is  Pyrex it  most likely will be a slope sided type made by Corning. 

 

                            - Dave 


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#42 ccwemyss

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:27 PM

It reminds me of old equipment that used to be laying round in the basement of the Amherst College observatory - stuff that was built for some professor's research project, long ago, probably by a machinist working on contract or in the Physics department. It has that "no expense spared, to eliminate sources of error, and gather the best data" that was possible at the time. 

 

Looks a bit like something Peter Ceravolo would tackle for a restoration. 

 

Chip W. 


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#43 William Whitaker

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 09:37 PM

I can but dream....right??

 

 

The husband of lady that is giving away the mount and large OTA, acquired them from a neighbor about five years ago who had passed away. Her husband recently passed away.

OTOH, this doesn't sound like a healthy acquisition. It may be just a "passing" fancy!... grin.gif

And no disrespect intended to the deceased or to their loved ones!


Edited by William Whitaker, 28 March 2021 - 09:40 PM.


#44 sunflowerastro

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 05:04 PM

  What type of glass does the mirror look to be made of?  If was made in the 20's or earlier  the glass would be plate since Pyrex wasn't available  until the mid 30's and if it is  Pyrex it  most likely will be a slope sided type made by Corning. 

 

                            - Dave 

The mirror in the small OTA is Pyrex and was coated by Clausing around 1965 based on the sticker on the back of the glass. It is not the original mirror. There are empty mounting holes for the original mirror cell. The current mirror cell bolts to the end of the brass end cap and probably dates to about 1960.


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#45 Tom Stock

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 12:47 PM

Based on the size and quality of the work I'd say that is not an amateur scope.

 

It is incredibly cool!!!


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#46 tim53

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 01:38 PM

From the looks of it, my bet is that it's either a late Brashear or early Fecker.  Fecker bought Brashear in 1926, and this scope looks like it's from around then.  I would bet that the mirror cell is original.  I'd also urge you, if you can, to acquire the other scope and keep the kit together.  Either that, or find a collector interested in preserving the whole thing and sell what you have to them when they acquire the larger scope.  

 

And, for Rice Cake, don't put it on a dob mount!  lol.gif


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#47 starman876

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 04:10 PM

From the looks of it, my bet is that it's either a late Brashear or early Fecker.  Fecker bought Brashear in 1926, and this scope looks like it's from around then.  I would bet that the mirror cell is original.  I'd also urge you, if you can, to acquire the other scope and keep the kit together.  Either that, or find a collector interested in preserving the whole thing and sell what you have to them when they acquire the larger scope.  

 

And, for Rice Cake, don't put it on a dob mount!  lol.gif

I was waiting for Tim to speak up    



#48 sunflowerastro

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:36 PM

The mount and longer OTA are headed to a new home. Before they left another primary mirror turned up which turned out to be the actual mirror for the shorter OTA, and the mirror that was with the shorter OTA turned out to be the longer focal length mirror after we measured the focal lengths. The mirror for the shorter OTA is made of plate glass and is coated with silver. It was a good thing that we measured the focal lengths since each mirror is now with the correct OTA.


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#49 starman876

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:56 PM

The mount and longer OTA are headed to a new home. Before they left another primary mirror turned up which turned out to be the actual mirror for the shorter OTA, and the mirror that was with the shorter OTA turned out to be the longer focal length mirror after we measured the focal lengths. The mirror for the shorter OTA is made of plate glass and is coated with silver. It was a good thing that we measured the focal lengths since each mirror is now with the correct OTA.

That is fantastic.


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#50 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 07:55 AM

From the looks of it, my bet is that it's either a late Brashear or early Fecker.  Fecker bought Brashear in 1926, and this scope looks like it's from around then.  I would bet that the mirror cell is original.  I'd also urge you, if you can, to acquire the other scope and keep the kit together.  Either that, or find a collector interested in preserving the whole thing and sell what you have to them when they acquire the larger scope.  

 

And, for Rice Cake, don't put it on a dob mount!  lol.gif

CN Member Dan Schechter has a Brashear Newtonian. Hopefully he will look in on this thread and give his opinion.




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