Trade card advertisement for Cornelius Varley's patent graphic telescope, 1811.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Printed by J Booth of Duke Street, Portland Place, London. Cornelius Varley (1781-1873) was an English watercolourist and scientist. In 1811, he patented his design for a graphic telescope, which was used to produce an image of an object in correct proportion. It combined a low powered telescope with a camera lucida, using a prism to reflect the object onto the drawing surface. The clear, strong outlines of its projected image made it popular with architectural and amateur artists. He also made improvements to lens-making and experimented in electricity. Dimensions (overall): 225 mm x 140 mm.