Antique Scopes

Here are a few pictures of antique telescopes I have come across:

2.5″ Cooke refractor

This scope dates from the 1860s, and was made by the famous English telescope maker Thomas Cooke and Sons. It’s a beautiful thing!

T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The contents of the wooden case, including 2 astronomical eyepieces, one terrestrial eyepiece, and adapter tube, 2 rods to control the mount, the dew shield and the main tube assembly.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Close-up of the finderscope. It has a push-pull focusing mechanism.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Dew-shield. Note the reducing or “stop” ring. The resulting aperture does not impinge on the objective lens itself.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Sun glass. Very dark – apparently opaque black glass push-fit filter which slides onto the eyepiece. As bad an idea in the 19th Century as they are today. DO NOT USE SUN FILTERS like this.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
This eyepiece has the curious text “Istronomical Eye Piece” written on its barrel.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The thread on the eyepiece is RAS

 

2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Focuser knob (left) and attachment for altitude rod (right)
T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Maker’s signature.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The Cooke’s objective lens.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The dew-shield slides over the lens cell, with a slit in the barrel allowing for a secure fit.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Focuser draw tube and finderscope eyepiece, the focus of which is adjusted with a push pull action. There are no crosshairs.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The astronomical (or is it istronomical?) eyepiece. It screws into an adapter tube which itself slides into the drawtube. Expect minimal eye relief!
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Eyepieces and adapters fit neatly into felt-lined fittings in the case.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
Finder-scope objective lens
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The two control rods, one used to rotate the mount in azimuth, and the other to brace it in elevation. Both held securely in the case.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The sturdy brass alt-azimuth mount of the Cooke telescope.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The mount’s worm gear, engraved in Roman numerals. The control rod attaches to the shaft of the gear, lower right. The knob allows to engage or disengage the worm, like a clutch on a modern equatorial.
2.5" T. Cooke and Sons refractor telescope
The hardwood case includes three brass hinges and a four lever lock. Well used but still protecting its contents.

3″ Clarkson refractor, pre-Broadhurst!

It’s a terrestrial scope  with no finder and one of those 20cm long rectifying eyepieces to turn the image right way up. Almost mint and an auction bargain at £60. The name  ages it to the 1890s, give or take. ‘Tis a lovely thing! I just need a suitable mount.

Clarkson refractor focusing rack

 

Clarkson refractor baffle and slot for focuser rack. Not the tidiest job.

 

Clarkson refractor focuser knob removed for greasing

 

Clarkson refractor nameplate

 

76mm objective lens
The objective lens cell is held in the tube by friction – no threads
Clarkson telescope meets Vixen equatorial!
Clarkson telescope meets Vixen equatorial! I managed to attach the OTA to a dovetail bar having drilled out the holes to match those protruding from the scope. It’s a solid fit, which is a good job as the tube weighs over 3 kg.

 

iPhone shot through the eyepiece – albeit a “modern” Halloween plossl.

 

Clarkson refractor showing sliding draw tube
Clarkson refractor showing sliding draw tube

 

Clarkson refractor telescope
Clarkson refractor telescope at sunset.

 

BC Library Telescope

A different 3″ Broadhurst Clarkson library telescope, this time on a pillar and claw stand. Around 1920. Black crackle paint finish.

3-inch Broadhurst Clarkson library telescope
3-inch Broadhurst Clarkson library telescope

 

Early 20th Century Broadhurst Clarkson library telescope objective lens
3-inch Broadhurst Clarkson library telescope objective lens

 

RAS eyepiece. A Huygenian design. Screw thread. Eye relief almost nil!

 

The eyepiece may not be a great performer but it looks fantastic. Unless you are a cat.

 

Snapshot from a video taken through the 3″ Broadhurst. Good optics.

 

Pillar and Claw. Heavy.

 


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The Night Sky above Somerset