Last updated: 22 April 2004

Some "Ancient" History

Image: Edmund 3-in reflector In late 1997 I purchased a Microtek ScanMaker E6 scanner. I will be using it for more serious ETX purposes but I came across this photo of me (love that hat!) and my Edmund Scientific 3" reflector taken in April 1962. This was my first astronomical telescope and it remained my only astronomical telescope (not counting the ones I "borrowed" while an Astrophysics undergrad at Indiana University 1966-1970) until I purchased the ETX in 1996. This telescope cost $29.95 in 1961 and was a very good telescope for visual work. I saw a lot with it and even did some lunar astrophotography with it. I still have the telescope and the original Edmund documentation as shown below. Image: Edmund 3-in reflector document

Image: Edmund 4-1/4-in reflectorFrom: filmdos@seanet.com (Paul S. Walsh)

I recently had the honor and experience of cleaning almost 30 year's of smoke and cooking grease of a friend's Edmund Scientific 4.24 "Deluxe Space Conquerer". Under all that grime was a near perfect mirror! My friend was so impressed he called Edmund to ask how this could be possible and they told him that the optical technicians who built those old scopes later went on to work on the Hubble Space Telescope! He bought his scope in the early 60's and it cost him $75. He added a clock drive motor for $29.50 and a collection of Ortho's at twenty bucks a pop - Ramsdens were $4.95 each (I'm looking at the actual receipts). It's great to see first hand how well quality optics can stand up to the test of time and, in the case of friend's scope, the most severe of punishments! Today, his scope is every bit as much of a pleasure as it was over 30 years ago and he's back into the hobby with a whole new fire.

Thanks for adding a great "Historical Footnote" to an already terrific site.

-Paul S. Walsh

Mike here: Edmund really did make some great scopes back then. I hope they still do.

From: marty104@usit.net (John Martellaro)

That 4.25 inch Edmund reflector that Paul Walsh talks about was exactly what I had in high school. I built it from Edmund components. But its fate was different. I junked it when I bought my Celestron 8 in 1972. But I kept the pier and had an adapter built so I could mount the Celestron on top of it. I kept the Ramsden eyepieces and an Edmund 25 mm Orthoscopic (for which I paid an allowance shattering $20 in 1962) -- which I still use today as a dust cap for my Questar. I used the 4.25 inch mirror as a shaving mirror for many years. Also, I still have "how to use YOUR TELESCOPE,' cat # 9055, (c) 1959 From Edmund Scientific. It is still a gem.

While redoing some bookshelves I came across the following photograph taken sometime in 1963 (probably). It shows (a young) me in my basement den, surrounded by lots of my astronomy items. You can see my Edmund 3" reflector, several wall charts, and hanging from the ceiling, a solar system mobile and a satellite. On the shelf on the left side of the photo you can see some Estes model rockets. There are two plastic model rockets on the table on my left. Just some more "ancient history"!

Me and my den circa 1963

In another "bookshelf discovery" I came across these articles that were published in the Seymour Daily Tribune (my home town) in 1964 and 1966. They are presented here with the permission of The Tribune (of Seymour, Indiana).

Reprinted with permission of The Tribune

Reprinted with permission of The Tribune

They show that I was into Astrophotography way back then. I used the Edmund 3" reflector shown at the top of this page.

And one final set of newspaper articles from my younger days. These are from my high school newspaper (used with permission of Seymour High School (Seymour, Indiana).

Reprinted with permission of Seymour High School

Reprinted with permission of Seymour High School

Subject:	December 1964 partial Moon eclipse
Sent:	Saturday, July 26, 2003 17:43:25
From:	ldnicholas@comcast.net
This will be short for now but I did the same thing that night in
December 1964.  I also took photos and was in the paper.  At the time I
lived in Elgin Illinois.  I will find the articles scan them and send
you a copy.  I am now fixing up the old telescope to give to my daughter
who teaches high school science(earth science, chemistry and biology). I
am looking how to replace the old clock drive as the one I have is not

At any rate it was a thrill to see your news paper article and to know
that there were others out their that cold night in December.
Lynn Nicholas
Mike here: That was a fine eclipse! Looking forward to seeing the article.
Subject:	Lost & found 
Sent:	Wednesday, April 21, 2004 19:32:34
From:	"Jeff Nash" (jeffnash@evansville.net)
My name is Jeff Nash. I live in Evansville, IN. I was born on 9/20/60. I
have owned a ETX90EC since 2000 and have been visiting your site weekly.
Your site is excellent and has helped me on many, many occasions.
Thanks. A few months back I bought your book and it has also been very
helpful and entertaining. I was very sorry to hear about your brother. I
also have had a loss, my Mother, to a fire at the family home two years
ago. Mom was always very supportive of me and my brother Michael. She
did not always know the answer, but she was ALWAYS sure that "You will
figure it out Jeffrey". When I was young, money was very tight, but Mom
always found a way to buy me the things I wanted, like science kits,
books, model rockets and a telescope. In 1967 she went to a local
university to find out what type of scope was the "best" for me. That
Christmas I was the proud owner of a Edmund Scientific Space Conqueror!
It is a 3" Newtonian reflector that sounds similar to the one you have.

Space Conqueror

Space Conqueror

I had to stand on aold kitchen stool to look through it but that didn't stop me.Mom spent many cold nights outside that new year assuring me "You will figure it out Jeffrey". I still have that scope and it is in very good condition (the mirror needs help though). I keep it in my bedroom like I did when I was a kid and get it out and look through it every now and then. I met Jim Abbey through your site and with his help I was able to take my first pictures of Mars and the Moon (I placed one on Mom's grave). It is good to have friends like you and Jim because I still can use some help to "figure it out". Your Friend Jeffrey B Nash Evansville, IN P.S. With the estate money Mom is going to buy me one last gift, a laptop to use with my ETX and Autostar Suite.

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