Refracting Telescope

This is a brass telescope with a pillar-and-tripod stand, an achromatic objective of 3.5 inches aperture, three eyepieces, a finder, two telescoping braces, and handles for movement in altitude and azimuth. The tube is 39.5 inches long. The “TROUGHTON LONDON” signature on the faceplate probably refers to Edward Troughton, a noted optical and mathematical instrument maker who began working on his own in 1805. Troughton took a partner in 1824 and began trading as Troughton & Simms.
The telescope fits into a mahogany case with brass hardware. The attached shipping labels refer to Dr. W. H. Fishburn, Dr. Henry Van Bergen, and J. C. Leeds. John C. Leeds, Jr. and Mary E. Leeds donated it to the Smithsonian.
Ref: A. W. Skempton and Joyce Brown, “John and Edward Troughton, Mathematical Instrument Makers,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 26 (1971): 233-262.
Anita McConnell, “Edward Troughton,” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Anita McConnell, Instrument Makers to the World. A History of Cooke, Troughton & Simms (York, 1992).
Currently not on view
date made
1805 - 1824
Troughton, Edward
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
overall in case: 6 in x 46 1/2 in x 11 in; 15.24 cm x 118.11 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
John C. Leeds, Jr. and Mary E. Leeds
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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