Fecker (J.W.) Company Limited

Fecker (J.W.) Company Limited was an American instrument making firm established by James Walter Fecker (1891-1945), the son of an instrument maker Gottlieb L. Fecker. James spent years learning the art from his father and in 1921, at 32 years of age; he started his own business in Cleveland. Fecker designed telescope systems and the machinery to build them, and manufactured the optics and mechanisms for complete observatory systems. In 1926 Fecker took over Brashear (John A) Company. 1937 brought the first large Fecker telescope, the 61 inch f5.1 Wyeth telescope for Harvard's Agassiz station in Mass., with Cassegrain - Newtonian optics and a fork mount. In 1940, he built the 60 inch f5 for Warner & Swasey at Cordoba Observatory, Argentina. As of 1940, Fecker had built 80 telescopes of 4 inches aperture or larger, and many more small instruments.

Fecker was one of the first to master the Schmidt camera, producing Schmidts of apertures including 16/24, 10/15, and 8/12. J.W. Fecker Inc. continued after Fecker's death in November 1945, and built two 10 inch refractors (one for Harvard), an 8 inch Maksutov for City College, N.Y.; the 24 inch at Arizona State College, Flagstaff; and a 38 inch Cassegrain for Butler U., Indiana. The company became a subsidiary of American Optical in 1956. Then followed a succession of owners, until 2000 when the firm became Brashear LP.