Bulova Elbow Telescope Artillery Gunsight

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2019.ast.113

Description:

This is a dark green metallic object. It consists of two cylinders connected to one another perpendicularly to each other. One is black with a large rubber eyepiece at one end, inside which there is a large lens. Below this, there is a textured ring around which there are a few graduations, numbered 1 through 4, and then “0 + 1”. Below this there is a another black piece from which an electronic attachment emerges at an angle. This is attached to a circular disk with a raised circular piece off centre, with a rotating switch with an indicating arrow that can rotated between four settings: “CLEAR”, “NEUTRAL”, “RED” and “AMBER”. These switch between different filters as designated by the switch indication. All of this is attached to a metal box with a base that can be screwed into a surface with knurled knobs. This is attached to a large cylinder containing lenses.

Primary Materials: Metal: Iron Alloy, Glass, Rubber

Markings:

Printed/stamped on a metal label attached to the gunsight: “TELESCOPE ELBOW
M6A1
NO. [??649]
G.I.R.
BULOVA WATCH CO. 1944”

Engraved on the circular portion: “C77623”

Embossed on the eyepiece’s textured rim: “B128629B”

Engraved on the box portion of the instrument: “D29379” “A178666”

Dimensions (cm):

Length = 38.5, Width = 16.6, Height = 25

Function:

This is a telescopic gunsight that can be attached to a piece of artillery and can assist with aiming the gun accurately.

Condition:

Excellent: The instrument is in good condition. It has few signs of use–the switch and eyepiece show no signs of repeated use. The rubber is still flexible and in good condition. A sticker has at some point (perhaps recently, with the move from the observatory) been attached and then removed to the box part of the gunsight. Paper and residue remain. All the lenses of the sight are intact.

Manufacturer: Bulova Watch Co.

Date of Manufacture: 1944

Provenance:

According to Ernie Seaquist: “A possible origin for it is a WWII surplus artillery gun mount (possibly naval) purchased in the 1970’s by astronomy for the azimuth bearing of the 60 foot dish built at the Algonquin Radio Observatory by the department for radio astronomy. The dish was dismantled in the late 80’s or early 90’s under my direction as Chair. The gunsight could have been an attachment that was not needed for the radio telescope and simply stored away.”

Following its storage, this object was moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2009, 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.