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Spectroscopic Eyepiece


This is a small satin-lined box containing a spectroscopic piece and three optical attachments. The spectroscopic piece has a base for a friction fit onto a telescope of diameter 3.5 cm. From the base a thin shaft containing glass prisms inside leads to the optical attachment. There are two additional eye-piece attachments for the eyepiece.

Accession Number: 2012.ast.12

Alternative Name: Star Spectroscope

Primary Materials:

Box: Plastic, felt padding. Optical attachments: brass, glass. Spectroscopic piece: brass, other metal, glass


On spectroscopic piece: “A. Hilger Ltd., London.”

On inside lid of box: “A. Hilger Ltd., 75A, Camden Road, London, N.W.”

Dimensions (cm): Box: Height = 4, Width = 4, Length = 4


This eyepiece allows a viewer to see spectral lines for observed light from stars and other objects.


Excellent: The box shows little sign of damage either on the interior or exterior. The eyepiece is in very good condition, although one side of the circular section intended to fit into a telescope is flattened and the surface enameling is worn away.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: A. Hilger Ltd.

Date of Manufacture: Early 20th Century


This object was possibly purchased by the early U of T Department of Physics & Astronomy in the early 20th century, for us with a 3.5cm telescope. At some point, it may have been moved to the David Dunlap Observatory. If so, it was probably moved back 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.

Additional Information and References:

Entry updated courtesy of information provided by R. A. Rosenfeld, M.A., M.S.L., Archivist, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

See: John Browning, How to Work with the Spectroscope (London: Browning, 1882).

Historical Notes: