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Pre Napoleonic Telescope Used In WW1!!

Started by Niall McLaren, June 17, 2020, 12:28:35 am

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Niall McLaren

This singlet objective refracting telescope was probably made before 1780 and, more than a century later, was donated to the British war effort in 1914.

The sliders have no shoulders on them and the thread is at the eyepiece end of each slider. According to

https://telescopecollector.wordpress.com/


Inside, all the lenses appear perfect, and the sliders forming the joints between the draws have 'shoulders'. This means that the retention thread is on the objective end of the slider, with the shoulder around an inch separated, making a stronger joint and therefore better, consistent alignment. It probably dates the telescope as after 1780 approx


This ties in with the fact that the achromatic objective was patented by John Dollond around 1758.

So - the objective and sliders indicate it was pre 1780 made and there was a maker's name on but it's long worn away. It 's been inscribed NSL Y1485 indicating it was donated pre WW1 to military use and the wooden barrel is marked 117 which probably relates to 117th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. 117th Battery was part of the 1st Division, British Expeditionary Force which landed in France on 9 August 1914  and by the Battle of Mons numbered four infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades.

Each infantry division had three field artillery brigades equipped with 54 18-pounder guns, one field howitzer brigade with 18 4.5 in howitzers, and one heavy artillery battery with 4 60-pounder guns.

The picture through it was taken hand held and doesn't do it justice and the tiny, thin objective is shown alongside a 7x50 field lens. Amazing to think of how the world has changed since someone turned the wooden barrel all those years ago....
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Niall McLaren

"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Niall McLaren

"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Rodolfo Peirano

Fascinating optic Niall,

hard to imagine a WW1 soldier with this optic  :)
everyone can learn from everyone - Rodolfo

Zbig Fiema

Well, the images are quite acceptable so I think that anything that could produce magnified view would be acceptable considering the industrially hard-pressed world of WW1

Niall McLaren

Not bad fellas - telescopes were still commonly used in WW1 and it's a handy size and magnification (12x approx).

Much as I love binoculars, the thought of hand made optics from hundreds of years ago blows my mind. When you dismantle it and smell the inside of the wood, you smell what the craftsman did - cherry wood perhaps.
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard