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What Were the Largest Classics, by Manufacturer?

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#1 Ben H

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 12:15 AM

Anyone willing to help compile a compendium of the largest classic telescopes offered for sale by each manufacturer? This would be a list of only those telescopes that were offered for sale, ie sold through catalogs or other media, and would not include any custom telescopes that were built to spec. 

Examples, Celestron C22, Meade 16" Newtonian Research Grade/DS-16/Starfinders, Unitron 6" 600 series

Was the Coulter 29" ever sold as a complete telescope, or just as a mirror kit? (Which would make the largest Coulter scope the 17.5" Odyssey)

 

Astro Optical - 90mm Model 6345
Cave - 16" Newtonian GEM

Celestron - 22" C22 Schmidt-Cassegrain
Coulter - 29" Odyssey Dobsonian
Meade - 16" Newtonian Research Grade / DS-16 / Starfinders

Obsession - 36" Dobsonian
Tasco - 4.25" 20TE achromat
Towa - 4" Meade 400 series achromat
Unitron - 6" Model 600 achromat [9" Model 900, only one unit produced]
 


Edited by Ben H, 03 June 2021 - 02:20 PM.

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#2 Augustus

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 12:43 AM

Coulter sold at least one complete 29" Odyssey.


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#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 05:37 AM

Cave had a 16" F/8 Newt. Talk about a brute trying to lift that OTA on the mount.  No may one person could do it.


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#4 Bowlerhat

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:12 AM

My cent is on Zeiss..talking about observatory grade.

 

John Pons 10" Zeiss

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#5 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:18 AM

I'm not lifting that OTA as well. Would be perfect in my super steady seeing but i am gonna need a bigger boat.



#6 starman876

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:23 AM

My cent is on Zeiss..talking about observatory grade.

 

wonder if that Zeiss ever sold?


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#7 apfever

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:03 AM

Tom Clark of Tectron made two complete 36" for sale and sold both. The first was an F5 by way of the mirror being longer than ordered. It was supposed to be an F4.5.  The second was also supposed to be F4.5 and was much closer at F4.65 when finished. I have the second one. 


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#8 pbealo

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:19 AM

Fecker made up to 61" I believe.



#9 combatdad

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 08:00 AM

Nihon Seiko manufactured a 9 inch Photo Equatorial under the Polarex-Unitron branding.  Photos and history of scope: https://www.unitronh...tron-model-900/.

 

Dave


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#10 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 09:05 AM

TOWA's biggest & best refractor, the Meade 400 Series:

 

Meade 4-Inch Refractor - CN(Colwell) 01.jpg


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#11 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 09:06 AM

... and, the equally RARE, Tasco 20TE:

 

Tasco 20TE CN Mikey C01.jpg


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#12 Ben H

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 09:18 AM

Fecker made up to 61" I believe.

Did they advertise a 61", or was that a custom order? 



#13 starman876

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 12:54 PM

Nihon Seiko manufactured a 9 inch Photo Equatorial under the Polarex-Unitron branding.  Photos and history of scope: https://www.unitronh...tron-model-900/.

 

Dave

That 9" is such a fantastic scope.  Would love to look through it.


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#14 photiost

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 01:08 PM

I had the opportunity to observe through the Obsession 36in at Stellafane a few years ago.

 

IIRC only 4 - 36in Obsessions were ever made. 


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#15 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 01:09 PM

No telling how many Astro Optical & Yamamoto Refractors SEARS sold in the 1960s & 1970s...  The Model 6345 90mm Astro is the largest that I know of:

 

Sears Model 6345 (CN gregju) on A-Mart 201606 P01.jpg

 

I think the Royal-Hex rotary eyepiece holder, with it's color-coded slots + matching eyepieces is crazy cool (and I know crazy).


Edited by Bomber Bob, 03 June 2021 - 03:41 PM.

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#16 Ken Launie

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 03:22 PM

Did they advertise a 61", or was that a custom order? 

Until the first (and only, I believe) Fecker catalog from 1956, all of their work was completely custom. The 61" was built in the mid '30's for Harvard Observatory, and set up about 40 miles west of Boston. They also made a 60" for Harvard's southern station in South Africa around the same time, and they remounted or built from scratch several other astrographs and other telescopes for them.

--Ken


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#17 pbealo

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 04:30 PM

Did they advertise a 61", or was that a custom order? 

I believe it is on a catalog cover. They made one for Harvard's Oak Ridge Obs. Still there slowly decaying...


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#18 Augustus

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 05:40 PM

I think the Harvard 61" still gets used once every couple years and the building is, to my knowledge, maintained.

 

The same cannot be said for the 22" Mak built by Perkin-Elmer down the street from me that is probably going to be hauled in pieces to the dump one of these days. 



#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:14 PM

I think the Harvard 61" still gets used once every couple years and the building is, to my knowledge, maintained.

 

The same cannot be said for the 22" Mak built by Perkin-Elmer down the street from me that is probably going to be hauled in pieces to the dump one of these days. 

Jump on it before it goes to the dump. I know there is a lot of red tape to deal with and such.  USF had a 1950's M-160 Unitron that sat around for years and i sure tried to buy it back around 1981.  Dr Carr told me they would rather throw it out than sell or give it away back in the day.
 



#20 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:16 PM

... and, the equally RARE, Tasco 20TE:

 

attachicon.gifTasco 20TE CN Mikey C01.jpg

Looks good. Never crossed my mind to buy one but i guess they are so rare i just as well forget it.



#21 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 06:16 PM

TOWA's biggest & best refractor, the Meade 400 Series:

 

attachicon.gifMeade 4-Inch Refractor - CN(Colwell) 01.jpg

Another dream scope to me back in 1977.


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#22 starman876

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:16 PM

Fecker made up to 61" I believe.

61" scope must be a wonder to view through. Of course the 200" scope must also be something else to view through.  To think how a scope that size opens up the viewing experience into another dimension. 



#23 starman876

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:17 PM

No telling how many Astro Optical & Yamamoto Refractors SEARS sold in the 1960s & 1970s...  The Model 6345 90mm Astro is the largest that I know of:

 

attachicon.gifSears Model 6345 (CN gregju) on A-Mart 201606 P01.jpg

 

I think the Royal-Hex rotary eyepiece holder, with it's color-coded slots + matching eyepieces is crazy cool (and I know crazy).

I have had a couple of those. with the colored eyepieces they look extra cool.


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#24 starman876

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:19 PM

I had the opportunity to observe through the Obsession 36in at Stellafane a few years ago.

 

IIRC only 4 - 36in Obsessions were ever made. 

the move such a beast must be difficult.   I can only imagine viewing through something that size.



#25 sdedalus83

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 07:32 PM

No telling how many Astro Optical & Yamamoto Refractors SEARS sold in the 1960s & 1970s...  The Model 6345 90mm Astro is the largest that I know of:

There’s a 6” and 8” listed in a later Astro Optical catalog, but it definitely was never sold by Sears.


Edited by sdedalus83, 03 June 2021 - 07:33 PM.

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