Box of Telescopes

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2019.ast.143

Description:

This object is a flat box, roughly square, with two brass latches. Inside, it contains five small telescopes support on wooden stands lined with green felt. There are places for six telescopes, three shorter and three longer. One of the longer telescopes is missing.

Each telescope is of simple construction, black and cylindrical, with a brass-coloured ring at each end. Each has a rectangular block of metal attached to the base halfway down the tube, with a screw opening that could permit the telescope to be mounted to a stand or tripod. It is possible this this piece is not original to the telescopes.

Primary Materials:

Wood, Metal: Copper Alloy, Metal: Iron Alloy, Glass, Felt

Markings:

Stamped on the wood inside the box: “EXTERIOR MADE IN CANADA”

Dimensions (cm):

Box: Length = 51, Width = 46.2, Height = 10

Function:

This is most likely a set of teaching telescopes designed for use by students.

Condition:

Very Good: The box is in very good condition, with minor scratches and scrapes across its surface, and on serious chip on the front right top corner. One of the telescopes is missing. All of them show signs of use: the screw connectors are well worn; the paint surfaces are chipped and scratched. However, they are otherwise intact.

Date of Manufacture: Mid-20th Century?

Provenance:

These telescopes were likely purchased for use in teaching at the Department of Astronomy in the first part of the 20th Century. If so, they were moved to the David Dunlap Observatory at some point. They were then moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.