Classic Telescopes - A Guide to Collecting, Restoring, and Using Telescopes of Yesteryear
Authors: English, Neil
Includes some rare photos of the most iconic telescopes ever built, revealing their allure and making obvious the value of these wonderful instruments
Shows readers how to find real bargains on classic telescopes, especially using eBay and the rest of the Internet
Interviews top telescope collectors and users from both sides of the Atlantic
Includes review of some specific instruments that are often talked about on the amateur Internet forums
Classic telescopes are of interest to amateur astronomers for a variety of reasons. There are the dedicated collectors, but there are also many amateurs who love the nostalgia they inspire. These telescopes "feel" different from any contemporary telescope and perhaps have a unique ability to reconnect the owner to a bygone age of craftmanship. This book takes a look at traditional telescopes built by the great instrument makers of the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly the dynastic telescope makers, including Dollond, Alvan Clark, Thomas Cooke & Sons, and Carl Zeiss. Also included are lesser luminaries such as John Brashear, John Calver, William Wray, Henry Fitz, and William Henry Mogey.
'Classic Telescopes' covers the key features of the telescopes designed by these manufacturers, and shows how a heady combination of market trends, instrument condition, and pedigree will dictate their prices at auction. 'Classic Telescopes' also shows the reader how to find real bargains! Interviews with top classic telescope collectors (and users) provide the best tips of prospecting for a genuine acquisition.
About the authors
Self-confessed classicist, Dr. Neil English, is the author of two influential books on commercial telescopes, both published by Springer, including the highly lauded Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope and Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope. English has conducted extensive research on the properties of the classical refractor and published widely on his finding both online and in commissioned articles for leading amateur astronomy periodicals, including Astronomy Now. He lives under the dark skies of rural central Scotland with his wife and two sons
“‘Classic Telescopes’ is a good introduction to historic telescope makers and their lives and creations mostly focusing on those telescope makers that also made smaller instruments that might end up in the hands of an amateur astronomer. … In general it was fascinating and a fast read. … this book makes for a good eye-opener as it introduces opticians and their work in a less academic way that would be appealing for a larger general audience.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, December, 2014)
“Part of Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series … Classic Telescopes approaches the topic from a skilled collectors and telescope operators perspective. The focus is primarily on refractors of yesteryear, with a scattering of reflectors from the past century thrown in. … Classic Telescopes is an indispensable reference resource for anyone refurbishing or hunting for a piece of astronomical history. Interspersed with expert reviews and great close-up pics, this guide provides a unique insight into a fascinating branch of optics and astronomy.” (David Dickinson, Astro Guyz, November, 2012)