Celebrating the IYA {International Year of Astronomy by honoring Galileo's wish of having many precise replicas  of his  telescopes to continue his work.
This site is about the Researching, Making and Supplying The Worlds Finest, To Date , Museum Quality  Replicas  of Galileo's Telescope IMSS 2427 & 2428:
 by Jim & Rhoda Morris


 Jim & Rhoda Morris   781 245 2897   Galileo@comcast.net

07/17/2009 06:41:43 PM Last updated

Click here to go to our main Galileo Web-Site
Galileo states clearly  in his letter shown below  of 19th of March 1610 to the Tuscan court  the necessity of using  many precise  replicas  of his good telescopes to show the secrets he has found using the new method in scientific  inquiry. That is the one of using physical measurements of the relevant parameters to establish how nature works.

Galileo's letter
.From A English translation of Galileo's letter ref.1

"In order to maintain and increase the renown of these discoveries, it appears to me necessary to have the truth seen and recognized, by means of the effect itself, by as many people as possible.

I have done, and am doing, this in Venice and Padua. But "spyglasses" that are most exquisite and capable of showing all the observations are very rare, and among the sixty that I have made, at great cost and effort, I have been able to find only a very small number. These few, however, I have planned to send to great princes, and in particular to the relatives of the Most Serene Grand Duke. And already I have been asked for instruments[ by the Most Serene Duke of Bavaria and the Elector of Cologne, and also by the Most Illustrious and Reverend Cardinal Del Monte, to whom I shall send [spyglasses] as soon as possible, together with the treatise. My desire would be to send them also to France, Spain, Poland, Austria, Mantua, Modena, Urbino, and wherever else it would please His Most Serene Highness."

 Note Galileo as he is looking at us and one of our Replica's of his telescopes imploring us to join him in his unfinished work.more replica's
Photo courtesy L. B. Johnson Library

The team's final results where honesty, art and science become  one and wonderful.
We  make them to your order  by hand using period practices
Visit our you tube site for videos constructing the telescopes

See our short up write about our replica  just released  in a new book and catalog from the IMSS "Galileo's Telescope The Instrument The Changed the World" edited by Giorgio Strano, Pub  Giunti 2008 isbn 978-88-09-05938-2

Our replica, above, of Galileo's telescope IMSS #2428 on display at Griffith Observatory (a wonderful Inspiring place to visit. A beloved icon of Los Angeles and world leader in public astronomy. Since 1935, the Observatory has given tens of millions of visitors the opportunity to become observers.

Above: one of our replicas at IMSS Florence, Italy next to Galileo's original telescope  IMSS # 2428
The IMSS  Institute and Museum of the History of Science - Florence, Italy on the banks of the Orno river in Florence Italy is one of the most beautiful and wonderful place to visit.  The IMSS has one of the most  extraordinary collections of very significant and beautiful  scientific instruments including examples of Nobile's Astatic galvanometers the instrument which was the foundation of modern electrical discoveries.


Above one of our replicas of Galileo's telescope IMSS 2427  at Adler Planetarium. Michelle Nichols Master Educator at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago Illinois checking out  Adler's new replica of Galileo's telescope IMSS 2427 which we built to the precise specifications of Galileo's original telescope. Adler Planetarium a wonderful, must, place to visit spectacular and beautiful collection of instruments of astronomy and view of Lake Michigan, the sky line of down town Chicago.


Our Replica of Galileo's Telescope IMSS   INV #2428. Florence Italy.
Now on display at Griffith Observatory California


We constructed the telescopes  IMSS INV # 2428, and 2427 for oIMSS, Griffith observatory, , Beijing Planetarium, etc. . 2428 is complete to the smallest detail: the delicate gold embossed decorations precisely reconstructed from our photographs of the original, the leather covering, the original coloring, its very unusual wood thin  stave construction, its odd focal length objective lens – all construction details that have not been done before or to this level of precision. 

There are over a hundred pieces in making the telescope IMSS 2428,over 400 hand stamped decorations using 21 separate gold stamps,  months of measurement of the decorative patterns on the originals to make these gold stamping dies. Even copying most of irregularities in the pattern of the original      Why?

Below is the interesting step by step process of making the IMSS# 2428

The seeds of Galileo's presentation telescope, wood staves. They are used in all the tubular construction.

The overall view of the bare body and sliding lens holders showing the novel construction

Above creating the art work from hundreds of high resolution photo. Below we take you through several steps in. the process including the  jig for applying the stamp that would allow the natural operator randomness of placing the stamp on the leather.

 plate of hot stamp dies. We went through 4 of them before we got it right each die cost upwards several hundred $ a piece with handle

 Finally a skilled craftsman applying the hot stamped decorations carefully by hand Including a number irregularities we found in the original decorations.

A very important exploded view of the interior of Galileo's leather covered telescope we made for IMSS in Florence Italy showing the very unique construction of this famous telescope. For more detail  about the various forms that we furnish scroll down to the figures of the IMSS 2427


A photo of the Original Galileo Telescopes in an earlier display, no longer used, at Florence Italy.  Top telescope is IMSS 2427, bottom IMSS 2428 The broken lens IMSS 2429 in the center of the decorated ellipse

Our mission statement parallels Galileo's. See white box below.

We are making   very precise replicas of Galileo's telescopes to help spread the significance of basic scientific research  using Galileo as a case study of how science works.

1,What was Galileo really like? Is he just about telescopes and church?
2,Are there still things we can  learn from (not about) him that are  relevant today?
3,Are there some, all most hidden, messages that we have not yet decoded or ignored because of  the complexities of today's science?
How about In Galileo Galilei's  letter March 19 1610 to the Tuscan court? 

In the very first sentence he both states a problem in handling  his scientific work and its solution  which is  particularly applicable in  solving issues within  today's science.

In the latter half he discuses the amount of work and the difficulty in funding  his science. So Galileo is relevant to to day science and we get the flavor of the business of science in 1600 and notice that it is not so different than today, including the nature of adversaries to science. So its a good working example for teaching purposes

Taking up Galileo's challenge in his letter we have taken up the task of  helping to tell Galileo's story and passing its very important lessons on to the public  by replicating with great care, Galileo's two internationally famous telescopes. We have  and are  building these replicas using the  measurements that we made with the assistance of the the IMSS staff for the two originals telescopes on display at the IMSS museum in Florence, Italy and from information published in the literature. We critiqued all these data as professional scientist with considerable technical experience in experimental physics and chemistry

Today many are concerned that there is the same or maybe greater  hostility against basic research today than 400 years ago. The problem is our   issues are of greater proportions, than that the choice of a  planetary system to support, Our issues are  evolution versus intelligent design.  stem cell research versus definitions of life,  global warming and scientist lying to mention a few.. 

We invite you to Click here to read a special scientific paper published in Science, May 18, 2007 discussing a serious local and global threat to our science ""Childhood origins of adult resistance to science"? It is coauthored By Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg (Yale) and focuses on neuroscience and evolutionary biology but there is evidence that it's true for most all branches of science including astronomy. We have created our own Abstract of this important paper for one to consider.

So in the authors opinion Galileo's story is even more relevant today and his solution is even more relevant and important. Presented in the right format emphasizing trust more strongly in the display could help reduce the skepticism of scientific work.



isit our you tube site for videos constructing the telescopes

Our Replica of  Galileo's Telescope  IMSS INV#2427 ,
Now at IMSS Florence Italy. Adler Planetarium Chicago Illinois
Beijing Planetarium, etc  

We constructed INV # 2427,  pictured above, for the Adler Planetarium.  It re-creates the equally interesting laboratory type telescope and the only other known telescope ascribed to Galileo. Its main barrel consists of a split wood tube covered with paper, painted, and reinforced with copper wire bands along its full length.

 Above a  micrometer such as Galileo may have used for measure telescope power versus lens shape and for measuring the distance  of Jupiter moons  from the planet

 We have recently furnished the extra accessories below to the Huntington Library  for their new displays on science.

A short note; One cannot convince us that Galileo did not try positive lenses in his development work because there were certainly more positive lenses than negative ones in the inventory of spectacle and magnifiers shops, one of his first sources of lenses.

This was a special Kepler eyepiece we especially designed to focus on objects less than 40 feet from the telescope and have a power of about 26. We have coupled this telescope with a sort of "Galiletarium "(a planetarium for Galilean objects, as a target of images, with proper scale, of the celestial objects for which Galileo made such remarkable new discoveries through his telescopes. Call or email us for details...

This model has been a successful tool for showing the location of the essential parts
of Galileo's work/development telescope. Throw a light shield over it and it works

Our  half telescope IMSS 2427 mounted on a stand for  display

The objective end of our half telescope IMSS 2427

Can one use Galileo's two telescopes in doors? Yes depending on the size of the room. Even though most everyone knows that telescopes are generally used to bring thing that are far away closer, that the closer the object is the further one has to pull out the eyepiece to focus on that object. Of course the distance one can pull out the eyepiece before it falls out of the telescope is limited to how long it is. The graph below gives us the information for the shortest distance the object can be from the front of the telescope

The bottom graph shows the diameter of an object which would fill the field of view seen in the telescope versus distance from the telescope.


We took great care replicating  both telescopes reproducing each part of the instruments as close as possible to the originals. Attention to all details, insides and out, is not only what  good science demands, a testimonial of   Galileo work ethics but because  they were being made  for renown educational intuitions including the IMSS in Florence Italy, Griffith observatory Adler Planetarium, and  the Lyndon B. Johnson's library  all demanding the very  best. 

Each telescope was assembled by hand with materials and techniques consistent with those most likely used  in Galileo's day. Our dimensional accuracy has been kept to within a few percent in all cases and in some instances to fractions of a millimeter of the originals. We also chose not to antique them but to show them as they would have looked when new.

Since our replicas are accurately reproduced they are particularly useful as research, teaching, and display tools. One can see, feel, and operate them as Galileo saw, felt and operated them. We also  build furnish replicas  which are half  telescope split apart  along their length where one can study   the interior construction. These tactile experiences high light in a very real way  Galileo's and the telescope's  virtues and  faults and offer a more mature insight into 1609 telescope making and operation in a way that Galileo, his associates and customers would have experienced.

 We also have built other Galileo instruments which are available and for sale.

Because of this effort these very beautiful, unique, and important instrument will only increase in value with time.

The replica MSS INV #2428,the leather covered telescope,   has over 100 pieces, has  21 intricate decorations requiring 21 separate hot stamps  with over 400 gilding hot stamp strikes to complete the  decorations. It replicates the unusual thin stave construction feature, and has an optical power of 21.

The replica of  IMSS INV # 2427 represents a construction style commonly used in research and field grade telescopes for that time period and is a very unusual piece. The world is lucky to have it because development instruments are generally thrown away.  It has closer to 17 pieces and a power of 14. The pair complement each other, one is a presentation piece designed for people of power and influence, the other, a field type instrument for laboratory work and for  customers or colleagues doing research work.

We were able to achieve this high level of accuracy in the reproduction of these telescopes through the patience and very professional help of the staff at IMSS in Florence Italy, at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. They shared their considerable knowledge of these instruments with us.  At the Adler Planetarium they gave us access to the interesting Cipriani replicas and at the IMSS we were able to make measurements and take high resolution photographs of the original Galileo instruments on display.

We found it was absolutely essential to make our own measurements of the original leather telescope having found a number of important differences in the data for its dimensions and materials in the published literature and in existing replicas. We made a concerted effort in checking and cross checking our data to resolve these differences.  (It is important to note that there are many so-called replicas which are so far from the characteristics of the IMSS originals that we did not include them in our comparison studies.)  For those instances where no data was available on the originals, such as that for the existing eyepiece holder in the leather covered telescope, IMSS #2428, we made and noted our best choice based on our own technical experience which is considerable.  However if new or more reliable information becomes available on the eyepiece holder, our telescope could accommodate the lens in the ocular draw tube itself if necessary.  The bottom line is that we believe our replicas to be the most accurate and finest made to date and will hopefully serve as standards for other replication in the future.

In addition in researching this ventures into developing and using the telescope, we have come to see Galileo’s saga and his telescopes as remarkable and timeless examples of what the business of science is all about and how science really works.  Galileo and his instruments are an excellent case study of the working of science and basic research – the contributions they make to our knowledge and the fragile threads that supports themThe telescopes demonstrate that the processes used by science ensure the truth will be revealed no matter how strong the bias. When discoveries are suppressed it is only a matter of time before they come to light again.  When errors are made, science’s self correcting processes will reveal them.  Its output has testable reliability.  These processes of science are not unique to science but they should become more universal.

For those with the professional interest: we are  making these very precise museum grade  replicas for sale museums, serious collectors and those who so kindly donate instruments of this quality to their favorite museums and other teaching institutions.  If you are interested, please contact us at k1ugm@comcast.net

For further information on our data gathering process and construction details, please go to the following links:

Replication of IMSS #2428

Optics # 2428
Construction details Stave Tube  #2428
Art work gold leaf embosing #2428

Replication of IMSS #2427

Replication details of IMSS 2427  telescope


Serious errors in the optics, the telescopes dimensions  found in the literature.

Click here to see
1, What will one really sees looking through these telescopes?
2, What is the shortest distance between Galileo's telescopes telescope and an object?
3, What is the difference  one sees between the Galilean and Kepler eyepiece design?

Measuring Galileo original telescopes lengths
Ambiguity in the  literature of the physical dimensions of Galileo's telescopes
Historical uncertainties about Galileo personality & technical ability in the  literature


Visit to IMSS Florance Italy IMSS 2428,2427Custom Mounts for our telescopes

Visit to Chicago Ill Adler Planetrium 2427,2428


Thoughts about basic scientific research

Galilean Syndrome.


Dr. Giorgio Strano - Curator at the IMSS ( a very beautiful museum with beautiful instruments of science  where the original telescopes are kept) looking out over Florence's roof tops  from the top of the IMSS with our precisely made  recreation of IMSS 2428  much as Galileo Galilei might have done with one of his instruments some 400 years ago. Dr. Giorgio Strano and the staff of IMSS made it possible to have access to the originals to gather the measurements so important to the success of  this project.

IMSS Our Exploded replica of Galileo's telescope
A very unique educational display of the  Galileo's  IMSS 2428 telescope. We have  some of our replica's cut  in half to show  the very unusual interior barrel stave resin composite construction. It also shows the arrangement of the lenses with their stops. Equally visible is  the very beautiful gilded leather exterior construction with all of its decorations. We have furnished this model to the History of Science Florence Italy home of the originals and it has been very well received by the visitors


ref 1Sidereus Nuncius Galileo Galilei Translated by Albert Van Helden1989 Univ of Chicago. p91
See our write up in "Galileo's Telescope The Instrument The Changed the World" edited by Giorgio Strano, Pub  Giunti 2008 (isbn 978-88-09-05938-2)

Photos and written material are by Jim & Rhoda Morris unless noted otherwise. Free personal and educational use  is encouraged--- Acknowledgment is appreciated; all commercial rights are reserved

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Copyright 04/18/2007 Jim & Rhoda Morris