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Unknown Optical Instrument

Unidentified · Astronomy

This object consists of a metal tube with a eyepiece-type knurled end at one end, and a broader cylindrical piece at the other. At the broader end, a smaller metal tube-shaped piece is attached. This is adjustable and ends in a piece with a cylindrical hole through it, with a screw knob for tightening something that is fitted into this hole.

Also on the broader end, two fabric-covered wires emerge out of a flat end that has three smaller holes in it. Two of these holes have screw ends or rods visible; the third is open.

At the narrow ‘eyepiece’ end of the instrument there is a slit that widens to a triangular opening. Visible beyond this there is a lens or prism.

Accession Number: 2018.ast.102 (DAA-0032)

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Metal: Iron Alloy, Metal: Copper Alloy, Glass, Fabric (wire)


Etched into the metal of the cylindrical tube where it meets the broader cylindrical piece and at the ‘eyepiece’ end: “25”

Dimensions (cm): Length = 23, Width = 10.5, Height = 7.6



Good: The metal surface of the tube is dulled and worn in places, but not corroded. The black surface of the broader cylinder has chipped off in places, revealing a brass-coloured metal underneath. At this end, around the far end, there is a unknown residue as if the object has been affixed to something that has left a substance behind.

The fabric insulation of the wires is fraying in places, and has been mended using black fabric tape.

This object appears to be an attachment to a larger instrument

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Unknown

Date of Manufacture:


This object was likely 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.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: