Classic Telescopes

A Guide to Collecting, Restoring, and Using Telescopes of Yesteryear

  • Neil English

Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Neil English
    Pages 1-18
  3. Neil English
    Pages 19-43
  4. Neil English
    Pages 45-69
  5. Neil English
    Pages 71-84
  6. Neil English
    Pages 97-125
  7. Neil English
    Pages 127-150
  8. Neil English
    Pages 151-157
  9. Neil English
    Pages 159-176
  10. Neil English
    Pages 177-190
  11. Neil English
    Pages 191-211
  12. Neil English
    Pages 213-222
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 227-239

About this book


Classic Telescopes explores the exciting world of telescopes past, as well as the possibilities involved in acquiring these instruments. What are classic telescopes? First, the book takes a look at the more traditional telescopes built by the great instrument makers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the dynastic houses founded by the likes of John Dollond, Alvan Clark, Thomas Cooke & Sons and Carl Zeiss, plus some lesser-known luminaries, including John Brashear, John Calver, and Henry Fitz.

Instruments constructed from the 1950s until as recently as the early 1990s are now also considered 'classic.' There is thus a very active market for buying and selling these 'modern' classics. The author examines some of the most talked about instruments on the amateur Internet forums, including the Unitron refractors, the Questar 90, a classic 6-inch reflector, the RV-6; a 3-inch F/15 achromat by Fullerscopes; the time-honored AstroScan Richfield reflector; and many, many more.

Classic telescopes are of interest to amateur astronomers for a variety of reasons. There are, of course, the dedicated collectors, but in addition many amateurs love classic telescopes for their nostalgia. These telescopes have a fit and feel quite unlike any contemporary telescope and perhaps a unique ability to reconnect the owner to a bygone age of craftsmanship.

This book not only informs as to what's out there and how to acquire it but also provides a wonderful historical background on the evolution of telescopes in a world just beginning to recognize the treasures to be found in scanning the skies. Just reading about this world can help you feel a part of it, and if you decide to continue on with collecting, then this book can serve as an invaluable guide in your pursuit.


Achromatic refractors Amateur astronomers Antique telescope market Apochromatic telescopes Catadioptric telescopes Clark refractors Classic apochromats Classic telescopes Collecting telescopes John Dollond Thomas Cooke

Authors and affiliations

  • Neil English
    • 1
  1. 1.Fintry by GlasgowUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-4423-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-4424-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1431-9756
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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