Clark Refracting Telescope

This has an achromatic objective of 3½ inches aperture, an equatorial mount, a nickel-plated tube, and a wooden tripod. “The Alvan Clark & Sons Corp’s, Cambridgeport, Mass.” signature on the faceplate was introduced around 1915 (replacing a similar signature, but with date, that had been used since the incorporation of the firm in 1901).
The number “438” and the letter “A” are scratched on both elements of the objective lens. This number does not appear in the ledger kept by Carl Axel Robert Lundin, the skilled Swedish optician and mechanician who spent 41 years with the firm, but the ledger indicates that “439” was sold in 1915. The “PAT. JAN 3, 1899”on the telescope mount refers to Lundin’s patent (#617108) for a simple and compact equatorial mount.
The Smithsonian purchased this telescope from to Henry E. Paul, an accomplished amateur astronomer in Norwich, New York.
Ref: Deborah Warner and Robert Ariail, Alvan Clark & Sons. Artists in Optics (Richmond, 1995), pp. 140-141.
Henry E. Paul, Outer Space Photography (Garden City, N.Y., 1960).
Currently not on view
Object Name
telescope, refractor
date made
Clark, Alvan
overall: 4 1/2 in x 6 in x 5 in; 11.43 cm x 15.24 cm x 12.7 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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