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probably made in Dundee

Postcard of Telescope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass telescope was made around 1850, probably by George Lowdon, a scientific instrument maker based in Dundee.

The hand-held refracting telescope has two glass optics, two draws and a tapered leather-covered barrel. Engraved on the first draw tube is 'Lowden,/ Dundee.'

George Lowdon complained in his autobiography that he had 'to teach Dundee what scientific instruments were'. However, he found there was a good market for instruments such as microscopes and telescopes.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-789-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1980.260
Date: Around 1850
c. 1850
Material: Brass / leather. Inscription: Lowdon, / Dundee
Dimensions: 50 mm D x 164 mm L (closed)
What: Telescope, refracting
Subject: 22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
George Lowdon, Dundee (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Angus, Dundee
Description: 1 3/4" aperture 2-draw hand-held refracting telescope in brass with tapered leather-covered barrel, signed by George Lowdon, Dundee, c. 1850
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. pp 147,149,150 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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