Reply To: Antique Steinheil München Refractor

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Dr Paul Leyland

Maybe I’m wrong, but I remember my mother always telling me: dear son, old stuff dies in the house of fools

The Northumberland refractor in Cambridge is still in regular use. I have used it myself and it is a fine instrument.

The 12″ Northumberland was built in 1834, so pre-Victorian.

The 1864 Thorrowgood is also a fine scope. That one is only 8″ aperture.

I have also looked through a 17th century refactor, an exhibit in the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. The roof of Blackwell’s bookshop was clearly visible through a conveniently placed window.

Some stuff has to be extremely old before it dies.