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Lipperhey telescope invention

Started by Peter De Laet, April 12, 2020, 11:26:35 pm

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Peter De Laet

Dear all,

I've been working in Middelburg for close to 20 years now and although it has been constantly crossing my mind, for some reason I have never actally tried to pinpoint the exact location of where the telescope was invented by Lipperhey. Over the past month I've been more in Middelburg than I would ever wish for and in the wee late hours when everything calmed down I decided to start my search.

Lipperhey invented the telescope in his shop/house located at the "Kapoenstraat" (painting, house at the extreme right). Later (and thanks to the revenue he received from selling his first three telescopes) he bought the house to the left of it, calling it "in de drie vare gesichten" (in the three vistas") in honor of these three telescopes. Unfortunately, a German aerial bombardment destroyed the premises on May 7th, 1940. During the reconstruction of the area, the Kapoenstraat vanished. From what we can see nowadays, Lipperhey's original shop must have been quite humble; it measured 6 x 6 meters at best. Today it serves as a parking space, allowing for two cars only.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Easter,

Peter.
"Wer schaffen will, muss fröhlich sein!" Theodor Fontane, 1819-1898.

Rodolfo Peirano

Tanks so much for info Peter. Very interesting.

For those interested:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Lipperhey
everyone can learn from everyone - Rodolfo

Niall McLaren

Thanks Peter - optical archeology in action. It's amazing to think that such a world changing invention came from such humble origins.

Today we view it in purely optical terms but, as Galileo discovered to his cost, the findings of telescopic research could be quite revolutionary..
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Uli Zeun

April 14, 2020, 02:03:31 am #3 Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 02:09:05 am by Uli Zeun
Quote from: Peter De Laet on April 12, 2020, 11:26:35 pmLipperhey invented the telescope in his shop/house located at the "Kapoenstraat" (painting, house at the extreme right). Later (and thanks to the revenue he received from selling his first three telescopes) he bought the house to the left of it, calling it "in de drie vare gesichten" (in the three vistas") in honor of these three telescopes. Unfortunately, a German aerial bombardment destroyed the premises on May 7th, 1940. During the reconstruction of the area, the Kapoenstraat vanished. From what we can see nowadays, Lipperhey's original shop must have been quite humble; it measured 6 x 6 meters at best. Today it serves as a parking space, allowing for two cars only.
Dear Peter,nice on-the-spot research.
Brought backi n my mind that Hans L. was a German ;-) - at least for 24 years, before he moved to Middelsburg.

This would be a good start to the early telescopes category. Maybe we should copy that to there.
For those who are interested inthe early history of telescopes are recommended to read the first chapter of Peter Louwman's excellent book "A Certain Instrument for Seeing Far" n.n., 2013

or Emil-Heinz Schmitz: Handbuch zur Geschichte der Optik. Band. 4, Teil A, Der Schritt in das XX Jahrhundert. Ergänzungsband l: Das Fernrohr. Bonn: 1982.
or ... many others
Also see: https://www.wissenschaft.de/zeitpunkte/das-erste-fernrohr/


Here's a often used drawing referred to the day of Lipperhey's invention - or better the kids as the saying goes found out and he made use of it.
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* Mr. Monocular *

Rodolfo Peirano

everyone can learn from everyone - Rodolfo

Gijs van Ginkel

For those interested: there is a copy of my powerpoint presentation at the BHS meeting in The Hague in 2013 with respect to binoculars made in Holland and Belgium. In that presentation I use quite a bit of data with regard to the invention of the telescope by Lipperhey and other data. Extensive literature data are added as well.
Gijs van Ginkel

Gijs van Ginkel

Sorry I forgot to mention where you can find my "Lipperhey" presentation it is entitled "Optical sciences and binocular-telescope production in The Netherlands and Belgium between 1608 and 2013". It is published on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor under the topic "Verrekijkers testen en vergelijken", which contains a list of test reports and different powerpoint presentations. Perhaps a nice excercise in this period of time.
Gijs van Ginkel

Peter De Laet

Thank you for your input chaps, and Gijs; I believe this is the link to the lecture PP you gave: https://www.houseofoutdoor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/OPTICAL-SCIENCES-AND-BINOCULAR-TELESCOPE-PRODUCTION-IN-THE-NETHERLANDS-AND-BELGIUM-BETWEEN-1608-AND-2013.pdf

The thing that keeps puzzling me about Lipperhey is what drove a German spectacle maker to move to Middelburg of all places. This was quite a travel back in the late 16th century. I have a hunch though.
"Wer schaffen will, muss fröhlich sein!" Theodor Fontane, 1819-1898.

Gijs van Ginkel

Hello Peter,
Middelburg  was a rather important city at the time Lipperhey lived there. It may have one of the reasons he moved to that city or he fell in love with one of the extremely attractive ladies from Middelburg...
Gijs van Ginkel