Jones Refracting Telescope

This is a brass instrument on a pillar-and-tripod stand. It has an achromatic objective of 2.75 inches aperture and 57-inch focus. The “W. & S. Jones” signature refers to William and Samuel Jones, brothers who, beginning in 1791, sold a range of scientific and mathematical instruments from their shops on Holborn Hill in London.
Andrew Ellicott was an American surveyor and geodesist who determined longitudes by observing eclipses of the moons of Jupiter. He probably used this telescope for that purpose.
Ref: Andrew Ellicott, “Astronomical, and Thermometrical Observations, made on the Boundary between the United States and His Catholic Majesty,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 5 (1802): 203-311; also Ellicott, “Astronomical observations made at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, chiefly with a view to ascertain the longitude of that borough, and as a test of the accuracy with which the longitude made by found by lunar observation,” pp. 61-69.
Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851 (London, 1995), p. 155.
Currently not on view
Object Name
telescope, refracting
W. & S. Jones
overall: 30 in x 60 in x 15 1/2 in; 76.2 cm x 152.4 cm x 39.37 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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