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probably made in London

Postcard of Telescope.
© National Museums Scotland


This telescope was made around 1775, probably by George Adams, a scientific instrument maker based in London.

The one and five-eighths inch aperture, triple-draw telescope has a leather-covered wooden barrel with brass-bound ends. The first draw is marked 'ADAMS, LONDON, / Instr. Maker to HIS / Majesty's Ordnance'. All draws are marked with a government mark.

George Adams senior (1709-1772) was Mathematical Instrument Maker to the Board of Ordnance between 1748 and 1772, during which period he supplied over 1500 instruments, ranging from drawing pens to theodolites, detailed in 148 invoices amounting to a total value of £2425. The Ordnance supplied the British Army, which was involved in intermittent war in Europe during this period.

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Online ID: 000-100-044-547-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1967.115
Date: 1780 - 1820
Around 1775
Material: Leather covered wooden barrel with brass bound ends, brass draws. Inscription: ADAMS, LONDON, / Inst. Maker to HIS, / Majesty's Ordnance
Dimensions: 9.31" L; 1.63" aperture
What: Telescope, triple draw
Subject: 3. ASTRONOMY, Refracting telescopes (Departmental Classification)
22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: Adams, London (Instrument maker)
His Majesty's Ordnance (Inscribed on the telescope)
Where: England, London
Description: One and five-eighths inch triple draw telescope made in the late eighteenth / early nineteenth century and signed by Adams of London
  • J.R. Millburn, The Adams Family of Scientific Instrument Makers (forthcoming). 
  • John R. Millburn, 'The Office of Ordnance and the Instrument Making Trade', Annals of Science 45 (1988), 221-293. 
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