The First Telescope

I can clearly remember, when I was 11 years old, wandering through a junk-shop in Kingston, New York, and coming across a small brass telescope, or part of one, actually. It had a 1” objective with three draws attached, all else was missing. It stayed on that shelf for 3 years, collecting dust with other pieces of odd and curious devices, while I dreamed about someday owning it. The summer heat and the smell of fresh mowed cut grass still brings back that memory, as that was how I saved the money, $10, to finally buy it.

Today I have bins of antique telescope pieces, parts and lenses of every sort. I have boxes of 6” glass objectives, hundreds of erector tubes, and thousands of lenses. I have 17th century parchment telescopes, giant brass refractors, wooden barreled spy glasses and binoculars that are four feet long from the mid 19th century. I went on to build a fairly large company that produced thousands of telescopes, employed hundreds of workers, fabricated all kinds of science instruments and sold optical devices all over the world.

And I still have that little telescope sitting in a box waiting to be reunited with its lost eyepieces.

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