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Achromatic telescope on portable equatorial stand, c 1769.

Achromatic telescope on portable equatorial stand, c 1769.
3 5 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 27cm


This 2 inch achromatic telescope was made by the London instrument makers Jese Ramsden and Peter Dollond, while the equatorial mounting is by John Miller of Edinburgh, Scotland. From a label on the case, it is known that the original owner was James Lind, a Scottish physician. It is believed that he used this telescope to watch the 1769 transit of Venus from near Edinburgh. In reporting his observations to the Royal Society in London, he gives a description of his instrument which matches this telescope. Lind later retired to Windsor in Berkshire, where he acted as physician to the royal household and was regarded as an eccentric. Recent work has suggested that he is posibly the role model for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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