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Telescope Tripod


This is a wooden telescope tripod. It has four wooden legs which consist of two wooden rods with a wooden piece sliding between them. This can be slid out and fixed in place via a screw knob on a metal bracket at the base of the legs in order to extend the length of the legs. Each leg ends in a metal section that is roughly rectangular and then narrows to a point. Each one of these has a triangular bracket on the external side.

Each leg is attached at the top to a triangular metal section, painted black, and hinged. This allows the legs to be widened or narrowed to stand the tripod up. When the legs are closed, there are two leather belts that can be belted around the three legs of the tripod to keep them together. A leather carrying handle is affixed to both these belts.

Emerging from the top of the metal triangular section that holds the legs together there is a metal support tube. This rotates and can be fixed in place by means of a black metal screw. Affixed to the top of the tube there is a metal loop. This is split and has a screw across the gap that allows it to be loosened and tightened around a cylindrical object, such as a telescope. The angle of this loop can be adjusted.

Accession Number: 2019.ast.245

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Wood, Metal: Iron Alloy, Leather, Metal: Copper Alloy.


Dimensions (cm): Height = 112, Width = 12, Length = 14.


This tripod is for supporting a small telescope about 6.5cm in diameter.


Very Good: The wooden of the tripod is in very good condition, with a few small nicks and marks. Metal components of the tripod are painted black and this is in good condition; paint is worn off on the tips of the metal tripod feet, where the metal underneath is slightly rusty, and on knobs and edges, particularly the exterior and edges of the metal loop. The brass screw that tightens the loop is slightly oxidized. The leather straps are in fair condition; one is intact, one is broken. They are dry and delicate.

Associated Instruments:


Date of Manufacture: Mid 20th Century


This artifact was kept at the David Dunlap Observatory until 2009. Upon the sale of the Observatory in that year, it was moved to the University of Toronto’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the St George Campus. In 2017 it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: