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made in Jedburgh, Borders

Postcard of Telescope.
© National Museums Scotland


This telescope was made around 1820 by James Veitch (1771-1838), a scientific instrument maker and ploughwright based in Jedburgh in the Borders.

The reflecting telescope has an octagonal brass-bound wooden barrel and speculum metal optics. It is mounted on a brass pillar mount with a folding table tripod stand. It lacks its eyepiece.

James Veitch's interest in astronomy turned to instrument making, first for himself, and then he was gradually persuaded by his agricultural patrons to sell what he made to them. His main line was telescopes with metal mirrors.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-793-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1981.37
Date: Around 1820
c. 1820
Material: Brass, wood. Inscription: JAMES VEITCH / INCHBONNY
Dimensions: 630 mm L x 124 mm W
What: Telescope, reflecting
Subject: 22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
James Veitch, Jedburgh (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Inchbonny
Scotland, Roxburghshire, Jedburgh
Description: 18" focus mounted Gregorian reflecting telescope with octagonal brass-bound wooden barrel and speculum metal optics, on brass table tripod, signed by James Veitch of Jedburgh, c. 1820
  • Gordon, M.M. The Home Life of Sir David Brewster. Edinburgh, 1869. pp 22-148 (especially 30) 
  • Morrison-Low, A.D. & Christie, J.R.R. (eds). Martyr of Science: Sir David Brewster 1871-1868. Edinburgh: NMS, 1984. pp 82-3 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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