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What's the oldest astro gear you have?


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Astro Theology book, with star charts; dated 1715

Found this nice little cartoon in the 1972 Fullerscope catalog I just received  Oh maybe this is my oldest astro “gear” 😂 Mark

I began reading this thread without noticing the first post date.  I got a shock at seeing the second post and had to have a close look at the post dates. Alberio380 (Dr Tom Clackson) passed away

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I have the OTA of my first 'scope sitting in the cupboard in my Flat. I bought it "shop soiled" from Dixons in 1975 (I think for the princely sum of £37). It is a 60mm refractor, that sat on a wobbly alt-az mount. I mated a WWII 4 pounder gun-sight to it as a finder. It was an awful 'scope - but I had 2 years of regular observing through it. I first saw the rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter and M42 through it - it hooked me for life with astronomy.

I keep it only because when I look at it, I get a warm nostalgic glow, but I haven't looked through it for over 20 years.

Tom

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Here is an image of my oldest piece of kit.

It must be at least 50 yrs old or more.

It has a stamp on it to say-

Reconditioned for

JOHN BARKER & CO LTD

KENSINGTON W 5

BY

Broadhurst Clarckson &Co

image.jpg

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Nice scope Jamie,

John Barker & Co. Ltd. Kensington W8 a brass four drawer telescope would of orignally been contained within a metal mounted leather case and came with a cased eyepiece..

Do you still have the Bits Jamie?

James

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I suppose my WWII German binoculars, although I rarely use them any more. Other than that, my Meade 4.5" from about 1998. I keep the binoculars for sentimental reasons. My dad picked them up in Africa.

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Broadhurst & Clarkson 2 inch brass "comet" eyepiece with 1 1/4" inch RAS thread. Someone's lightly filed the RAS thread down and it fits a normal 1 1/4 inch push fit focuser. Keeping it because who would want a 50 or 60 year old Ramsden EP!.

PS It's still sort of usable but it only has a lousy FOV. I wouldn't have wanted to search for comets with this EP.

MD

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My 1960's Tasco 60mm f13 Alt-Az refractor in it's wooden trunk. My first scope which I purchased 2nd hand around 1981. It's mount and tripod are not good and the 2 eyepieces that came with it frankly awful. The breakthrough came when I started using the eyepiece from a discarded pair of 8x30 binoculars in the scope - it was a kellner design with a focal length of about 16mm - with no field stop - hardly ideal but a big step up from the Huygenian EP's that came with the scope - I now found some of the brighter Messier objects and felt very proud !!. This scope also showed me my first telecsopic view of Saturn, which, as with many folk, got me hooked on astronomy.

I reckon that these older Tasco scopes generally have good optics - they just need half decent eyepieces (ie: not those supplied with the scopes) to show it. One day I'll mount the OTA on a good mount and see what it can do with my Tele Vue plossls.

Can't see me parting with this somehow - definately for sentimental reasons.

John,

North Somerset

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My oldest astro gear is 1961 3" Achromatic refractor 40" focus. This scope was hand made J.K.M.Holmes & Co of Bedford St. North Shields, Northumberland. ( I know that N.Shields is now Tyneside).

I have all the documentation, including the order acknowledgement, receipt for scope £23. 12s. 6d ( £12.62 in decimal), p&p was 15s. 0d, ( 75p decimal), came with a 1/2inch Super Huyghenian eyepiece, ( in brass, with RAS thread)

Scope was ordered on the 20th Sept. on the 14 Nov. the guy got an apology for the delay, to quote " at the moment we are heavily overwhelmed with orders" and then they go on to say "these instruments cannot be mass produced and individual care must be taken". Better tell our friends in the east then!

The next day, 15th Nov. it was shipped.

The optics are quite good, not coated, CA as you might expect, but, (with thanks to Arthur (Ambermile)) with modern ep's, can be compared favourably with most modern mid level equipment.

The only draw back, excuse the pun, focus is by a draw tube, and that so far has limited its use.

Although I have only had this scope for about 3 years, I got it through the small adds in a local paper where we used to live, for what the guy paid for it, forty years before!

Don't think I will get rid of it, could make a decent guide scope.

Apart from that the oldest other astro gear is my eyes!! :lol:

naz

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With documentation etc..I'd give it to the grand kid's as an investment.

Nice one Mick :)

If the kids want it, they can pay for it :lol:

naz

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  • 14 years later...
On 31/03/2006 at 11:03, Naz said:

My oldest astro gear is 1961 3" Achromatic refractor 40" focus. This scope was hand made J.K.M.Holmes & Co of Bedford St. North Shields, Northumberland. ( I know that N.Shields is now Tyneside).

I have all the documentation, including the order acknowledgement, receipt for scope £23. 12s. 6d ( £12.62 in decimal), p&p was 15s. 0d, ( 75p decimal), came with a 1/2inch Super Huyghenian eyepiece, ( in brass, with RAS thread)

Scope was ordered on the 20th Sept. on the 14 Nov. the guy got an apology for the delay, to quote " at the moment we are heavily overwhelmed with orders" and then they go on to say "these instruments cannot be mass produced and individual care must be taken". Better tell our friends in the east then!

The next day, 15th Nov. it was shipped.

The optics are quite good, not coated, CA as you might expect, but, (with thanks to Arthur (Ambermile)) with modern ep's, can be compared favourably with most modern mid level equipment.

The only draw back, excuse the pun, focus is by a draw tube, and that so far has limited its use.

Although I have only had this scope for about 3 years, I got it through the small adds in a local paper where we used to live, for what the guy paid for it, forty years before!

Don't think I will get rid of it, could make a decent guide scope.

Apart from that the oldest other astro gear is my eyes!! :lol:

naz

Naz, could you please scan and send me any of the documentation you have for your JKMH?  I would really appreciate something to sit alongside mine, bought and first used by me (according to my astronomy log book, on 11 Aug 1967.

 

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4 minutes ago, Mark Hardaker said:

Naz, could you please scan and send me any of the documentation you have for your JKMH?  I would really appreciate something to sit alongside mine, bought and first used by me (according to my astronomy log book, on 11 Aug 1967.

 

Hi Mark. Just to say this thread is over 14 years old (amazingly!) and Naz hasn’t been on the forum for over four years so you likely won’t get an answer. I hope I’m wrong, but ...

Anyway, the JKMH sounds like a lovely old scope!

Cheers,

Stu

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Crikey, this is an old thread ; has time stood still ? 😃

For me my oldest current gear are my Canon 15x50 is binocs.

2004 vintage, still in regular use and still going strong.

I remember buying them to watch the 2004 Venus transit, i was in between telescopes at the time, and i used a homemade solar cover to view the event. They performed great.

A memorable and once in a lifetime event for me.

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1 minute ago, Stu said:

Hi Mark. Just to say this thread is over 14 years old (amazingly!) and Naz hasn’t been on the forum for over four years so you likely won’t get an answer. I hope I’m wrong, but ...

Anyway, the JKMH sounds like a lovely old scope!

Cheers,

Stu

I think you have just revived it.

 

My oldest piece of kit is a pair of Greenkat 12x50 binoculars that I was given by my stepdad in the late 70s / early 80s...

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