Telescopes from the 1920s

Telescopes from the 1920s are just one of the reflections on past amateur telescope offerings that Phil Harrington has written about with “Nights of Future Passed”.

Telescopes from the 1920sHarrington is well known for his many amateur astronomy focused books, magazine articles and more. He currently writes the Binocular Universe column for Astronomy magazine where he offers regular advice on what night sky spectacles can be found with binoculars.

He also hosts a website that acts as an extension of the books he has written over the decades. Topics that he has covered over the years include choosing and using astronomical equipment, observing selected sky targets, information on solar and lunar eclipses and much more. On his site you will find updates, excerpts, corrections, and additional material available for each title he has published.

You will also find a section on “Nights of Future Passed” where he discusses the history of amateur telescope offerings including a focus on telescopes from the 1920s.

One of the companies that was a mainstay in the 1920s is still relevant today as he notes, “A well-known name from early in the last century, Broadhurst, Clarkson, and Company (later Broadhurst, Clarkson, and Fuller) is still around today, though it no longer manufactures telescopes. The retail end of the business, known as the Telescope House in Kent, imports telescopes from the U.S. as well as other sources, while the parent company concentrates on the wholesale distribution and specialist supplier side of the business.”

He also discusses another manufacturer from the 1920s that still has an impact today, although not in the telescope industry, as he comments, “One of the era’s most famous and collectible instruments, the Porter Garden Telescope was the brainchild of Russell W. Porter, the father of the amateur telescope making movement that started in the 1920s and continues today.  Porter’s club, the Springfield Telescope Makers, continues the traditional today by hosting the annual Stellafane convention in Springfield, Vermont.”

You can learn more about telescopes from the 1920s and more by visiting Harrington’s website here.

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