New Light on Old Instruments: An Optical Safari in Search of the World's Oldest Surviving Telescopes
A telescope serves as an easily recognizable scientific instrument, one with a readily understood purpose and construction. But not always. In Summer and Fall 2015, an intensive 3-month research expedition (with Marvin Bolt, curator at the Corning Museum of Glass) tracking down and optically measuring instruments in more than two dozen museums and private collections across Europe capped a decade of investigating the startling variety of early telescopes. In addition to describing our methods, this richly illustrated and broadly accessible lecture will present selected key findings, including: the surprising quality of the oldest securely dated telescope, previously unstudied metal tubes, the unexpected existence of very long Galilean telescopes, lenses deliberately chipped in surprising ways, and the discovery of the only two known examples of 17th-century Keplerian telescopes.
Dr. Michael Korey is a curator at the Dresden State Art Galleries in Germany.