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Catalogue by H. W. English, Brentwood, Essex c.1960

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About this observation
Observer
Alan B Thomas
Time of observation
10/04/2020 - 12:27
Object
Catalogue by H. W. English, Brentwood, Essex c.1960

In the post-war period, war-surplus suppliers were one source of gear for aspiring telescope builders. This eight-page catalogue by H.W.English of Brentwood offered hundreds of ex-Government optical items, including telescope lenses, eyepieces, prisms, filters, concave mirrors, telescopes, telescope kits, photographic lenses, cameras, binoculars, microscopes, predictor telescopes (?), opthalmascopes, periscopes, projection lenses and a host of electrical items.

One curious offer is a 5" Mk.V Heliograph, with leather case which "if cut up yields over 2 sq. ft. of leather enough to mend 4 pairs boots or shoes." Even then it is hard to imagine many people mending their own boots . . . !

I know nothing more about H.W.English except that a book titled 'How to Use Lenses and Mirrors' was published by H.W. and C.R. English in 1970.

While not part of the Grand History of Astronomy, such firms may perhaps deserve a footnote in the story of the popularisation of Astronomy in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century.

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