Refracting Telescope

The American military began using telescopes with stable mounts and tubes of fixed length in the 1890s, to supplement the spyglasses it had used since the Revolution and the field glasses (binoculars) it had used since the Civil War. This example is of that sort. It is 5 feet long, with a wooden tripod and heavy cast-iron mount. The objective (missing in this example) would have been 3 inches aperture
This came to the Smithsonian from the U.S. War Department. The lenses are lacking.
Ref: D. J. Warner, “Optical Elements of Fire Control, 1890-1921,” Rittenhouse 18 (2004): 21-59.
Object Name
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.