Refracting telescope on stand by Ramsden, Dollond and Miller, 1769

1769 in Edinburgh, London, Scotland and England
John Miller
John Miller
Peter and John Dollond
Jesse Ramsden
Peter Dollond

Refracting telescope of 2 inch aperture and 30 inch focal length, engraved, 'Ramsden London' on an equatorial stand by John Miller, Edinburgh with wooden case. A label in the transit box states that the telescope was made by Peter Dollond for Jesse Ramsden. The telescope may have been used by Dr Lind F.R.S. to observe the 1769 Transit of Venus.

Dated to about 1769, this 2-inch telescope was made by the London instrument makers Jesse Ramsden and Peter Dollond, while the equatorial mounting is by John Miller, Edinburgh. From a label on the case, 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 observation to the Royal Society, London, he gives a description of his instrument that matches this telescope. Later, Lind retired to Windsor where he acted as physician to the royal household and was regarded as an eccentric. Recent work has suggested that he is possibly the role model for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

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Object Number:
brass, complete, glass, wood
overall (assembled): 780 x 730 x 300 mm
telescope - refracting
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J.C. Stevens Auction House

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