C. A. Robert Lundin

C. A. Robert Lundin

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C. A. Robert Lundin (1880-1962) spent his early working life with Alvan Clark & Sons, the famous telescope firm in Cambridgeport, Mass., where his father, Carl Axel Robert Lundin, had been employed since 1874. The younger Lundin took charge of the Clark optical department in 1915, established his own telescope firm in 1929, and became head of Warner & Swasey’s new optical shop in 1933. Honors included Fellowships in the Royal Astronomical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
This handsome studio photograph shows Lundin as prosperous and middle-aged, more ready to close a deal than polish a lens. The “BACHRACH” mark refers to the firm that was established in Baltimore in 1868 and that remains in business to this day.
Ref: John W. Briggs and Donald E. Osterbrock, “The Challenges and Frustrations of a Veteran Astronomical Optician: Robert Lundin, 1880-1962,” Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 1 (1998): 93-103.
Currently not on view
Object Name
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 7 in; 22.86 cm x 17.78 cm
overall: 12 in x 9 1/16 in; 30.48 cm x 23.01875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Swarthmore College
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I just attended a tour of McDonald observatory in the Davis Mountains of Texas.None of the people at the visitors center knew that the optics of the 82 inch Otto Struve telescope were made by this venerable optician originally associated with the firm of Alvan Clark and Sons.. The instrument is no longer open to general tours due to safety issues and my not be restored. It would be tragic indeed if the history of this venerable instrument were lost.

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