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Telescope stores that closed

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#101 photoracer18

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 04:09 PM

Still a brick and mortar is Skies Unlimited in Pottstown, PA, about 15 mins from my home.

 

I bought my first scope there, a C6, which  I sold a year or so later (I now have an ST80).

 

Great people, really helpful. 

If I am not mistaken that guy started out of his house near Mt. Airy, MD right across the road from me during the time I worked for Gary Hand. Had an observatory dome in his front yard and ran the business out of his garage. I heard he moved but don't remember exactly when.


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#102 CHASLX200

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 06:06 PM

I remember Gary back in the 1980's.



#103 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 02:26 PM

I worked for Gary in the 2000's but had known him since the 80's. The Hands retired from the business several years ago once the major makers stopped requiring their dealers to have a brick and mortar store. Gary did not want to do online only. One reason I went to work for Gary was to get first shot at any used things he took in. Except for one trip to NEAF I usually just repaired and refurbished used things he took in as trade. Except for that Tele Vue 140 he bought at NEAF one year.

There was also a camera store in Hagerstown called 1st Photo that carried Celestron and Meade up until they closed around 2016.

I had to liquidate much of my then collection back in the early 2000s. I remember driving a number of scopes from Cincinnati OH to Damascus MD one Sunday and meeting Gary and his wife after we had worked out a sale. 


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#104 danmdak

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Posted 13 November 2021 - 10:53 PM

Also, "The Star Tracker" on Walnet Street in Boulder. 

The first telescope store I ever visited, August 1978.  A stereo store was next to it. I was visiting from Ohio and my brother wanted to get a stereo so we stopped there. I was floored to see "The Star Tracker" store right in front of me and I recognized the name from their ad in S&T.  I still remember what the ad said, in italics: "...this is it", and it WAS for me.


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#105 KeplerKrater

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 07:53 PM

Does anyone remember a telescope shop in (or very near?) Monterey Park, CA?  My dad got my C90 there, and it's where I bought my C8 a few years later. I only went 2 or 3 times (it was far from where I lived) but I remember being completely entranced by the place. This all happened in the early 1980s, and I don't know how long the place was around before or after that.

It might be this store: OPTECH (PRECISION) INSTRUMENTS (OPI), 266 E. GARVEY AVE., MONTEREY PARK, CA. (213-280-7702).

I bought my C8 in July 20, 1982 there: C8 (special coatings), wedge, tripod, 32mm Erfle, 8x50 finderscope, knob set, RFA lens, metal dew-cap, barlow, and storage trunk: with tax = $1,400. I still have the C8, fork/drive, trunk, and original yellowed receipt! The C8 is now on a Celestron CGEM-DX.  I lived in Santa Cruz, CA from 1975-1982, and remember ORION starting their first store on 41st Ave. in the late 70's.  I thought I would get a better deal in L.A., but in hindsight I would of done better buying from ORION, even back in 1982. OPTECH was a small store and I was attended to by one guy on board; I'm sure the fellow has passed and the store isn't around anymore.


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#106 John Rose

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 08:36 PM

Rivers Camera in Dover New Hampshire.  I believe they closed in 2006. Bought a bunch of stuff there including things I had no plans to buy untill I picked it up to get a better look!  Last I knew Roger Rivers worked for IOptron.


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#107 bjkaras

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 06:53 AM

I bought my first telescope from Cave back in 1972. I pored over their catalog they sent me so when my dad took me there I knew exactly what I wanted. I remember all the scopes set up in the show room. Anyway, Tom took my order, we gave a 50% deposit and paid the balance when I went back to pick it up a few weeks later. Tom checked me out on it, then went over to a drawer and pulled out three eyepieces, put them in a box for me and we were on our way! 
 

Years later I lived a couple miles from the Orion store in Cupertino and was a regular there whenever I needed anything. They closed last year. I’ve also been to the Scope City stores in Costa Mesa and San Diego. I have to stop going to those places; they always seem to close down after I’ve been there!


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#108 Senex Bibax

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 10:26 AM

Focus Scientific may have closed in Ottawa, but Mallincam's HQ is in a light industrial park about a 15 minute walk from my house. I don't know if they do retail right out of the office, but they have a number of OTAs on their website in addition to the digital astrocam lineup.


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#109 bjkaras

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:13 AM

Peninsula Scienfific used to be in Palo Alto back in the 1970s and 80s. From what I remember they mostly sold Meade equipment. I bought an 8x50 finder and a Barlow from them. They’ve been gone for a long time, but I don’t remember exactly when they went away.


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#110 Matt Lindsey

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:16 PM

Cosmic Connections. I was in there once, in 1985.

Oh yeah--Cosmic Connections on Farnsworth Ave in Aurora, IL (Chicagoland 'burbs).   I was just getting seriously into astronomy and then the Halley Comet craze started.  My dad drove me down there to check out the telescopes and I remember distinctly drooling over a blue tube 13" Coulter Odyssey 1.  We walked out with mirrors, a TeleVue 26mm smoothie Plossl (still own), and plans for building an 8" f/5 dob, a wide-field scope they were recommending to view the comet.  Dad and I built the scope and used it for years.

 

We also had an Edmund Scientific store somewhere closer to the city off the Kennedy Expressway.  My 3" f/6 Edmund reflector was purchased at that store.


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#111 walter a

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 07:37 AM

I have their 2 dollar 20 page catalogue from 1983. 

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Edited by walter a, 21 January 2022 - 05:44 AM.

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#112 Exnihilo

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 11:19 AM

I miss S&S Optika Denver.....bought a lot of stuff there....met a lot of people there too.

1) I bought my first "big" telescope from S&S Optica, an 8" Newt, before they had their actual store in Littleton.  I think it was one of the first telescopes they sold.  I was 14 at the time; my first two telescopes were bought with money I earned working on vegetable farms in the Denver suburbs where I grew up.

 

2) I got my original 8" Celestron Super Polaris at the Scope City store in Sherman Oaks; that was in 1989 or so.  At that time I had a career going in aerospace/defense - hence the ICBM launch pic for my avatar.


Edited by Exnihilo, 20 January 2022 - 11:28 AM.

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#113 danmdak

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 09:52 AM


We also had an Edmund Scientific store somewhere closer to the city off the Kennedy Expressway.  My 3" f/6 Edmund reflector was purchased at that store.

Edmund Scientific had branch stores????  As a kid my life plan was one day to walk into Edmunds Barrington NJ store, I never made it.  I didnt know they had branch stores.



#114 telescopeguy238

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 03:53 PM

You were probably thinking about American Science & Surplus on the northwest side of Chicago. It was in one location for many years but then finally moved to another location still on the northwest side of Chicago. Both stores were loaded with all kinds of science Surplus. They will be moving to a new location in Park Ridge Illinois. I don't think it was an Edmund tore are owned by them but they did have a lot of Edmund materials there. The original location and tons of Army Surplus type stuff. A fantastic place to shop and still really in business.


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#115 grif 678

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 04:17 PM

Even though I never been to the store, I miss Roger Tuthill ads in my old S&T and Astronomy magazines. Roger was a very dedicated man to anyone who needed his help. In an article in one of my books back in the 60's, he would help anyone that asked for it, and he built some nice telescopes, and had the biggest at one of the star parties.

Looking at one of his old ads last night, he welcomes anyone to call him for any kind of help they needed, whether they were in the market for a scope or not, he was still wiling to help people in this hobby. We need more people like he was.


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#116 JIMZ7

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 07:14 PM

University Optics in Ann Arbor is one where I bought my 8" F7 Newt.

I remember way back when I was a kid, Polaris Telescope Shop down in Dearborn MI.

I was drooling over a Unitron in those days.

Besides those two... Science & Things.. City Camera.. Ryder's Hobby all in Metro Detroit.



#117 vahe

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Posted Yesterday, 10:07 AM

I bought many TV Plossl eyepieces from a place called F. C. Meichsner Co. in Boston, back in those days TV always had sales, you bought two and received the third Plossl of your choice free.

 

Another place that I bought eyepieces, my G11 mount, was called Pocono Mountain Optics, the owner trusted me, all I had to do was to call and tell him what I wanted and he would ship the item right away, I always paid him when the order arrived.

 

Vahe



#118 Matt Lindsey

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Posted Yesterday, 10:34 AM

You were probably thinking about American Science & Surplus on the northwest side of Chicago. It was in one location for many years but then finally moved to another location still on the northwest side of Chicago. Both stores were loaded with all kinds of science Surplus. They will be moving to a new location in Park Ridge Illinois. I don't think it was an Edmund tore are owned by them but they did have a lot of Edmund materials there. The original location and tons of Army Surplus type stuff. A fantastic place to shop and still really in business.

Yes!  That's exactly what it was.  Thanks for the clarification.  




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