Galileo's Telescopes To Date These Are The Worlds Finest Museum Quality  Replicas 

Made on Order by Jim & Rhoda Morris

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02/08/2008 07:39:42 PM Last updated
Our visit to the Adler Planetarium to gather data on the 1930's Italian  Cipriani Replica of Galileo's IMSS 2428 telescope.

The visit was a very valuable.  The Adler staff was very helpful. We took 50 digital images and 33 35 mm color negative along with numerous measurements of the telescope. We also got very important data on the telescoping lens holders.

Below are the Adler Planetarium staff that were so helpful to Jim on the visit to the Cipriani replica of Galileo's # 2427 & # 2428 telescopes in Chicago Ill . Their professional help and patience helped significantly to our making the replication of the orginal Galileo telescopes more precise than has been done before.

Thank you again Jim & Rhoda Morris

Michelle Nichols,
 Master Educator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

The beautiful Cipriani replica of Galileo's # 1 telescope being treated with the care and attention it deserves.
Devon L. Pyle-Vowles
Collections Manager Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

Important issues comparing the original  2428 Galileo telescope with the Adler Cipriani replica telescope.

Deciding on sliding tubes for the lens  Both the Cipriani replica  telescopes 2427 and 2428 have sliding tubes carrying both the eyepiece and objective that slip into the main telescope body.
The question is did the original #2428 have them too? This was not completely resolved with our visit to IMSS. From the literature we found  extra decorated space between the objective housing and the end of the barrel. This  appears in figure 9 below, suggests that at least there was a sliding lens holder for the objective which could have been used  for extending it out for longer  focal length objectives.  Using this objective adjustable feature for focusing would have been troublesome it is too far to reach. Therefore an adjustment also at the eyepiece end would also have been sensible. essentially The photos of the original telescope during restoration suggests that the protruding staves were part of the sliding mechanism at both ends and not simple cardboard tubes as has been suggested. It appears that the tubular stave construction was used throughout .  Also the 1704 inventory listed the telescope as coming in two pieces for lengthening it.

We still wonder about the little Marble paper covered eyepiece holder which would make three length changing elements even though it has very little adjustment, perhaps 8 or so millimeters hardly the 7 cm. needed to focus on objects 30 meters away. We believe that there is enough circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Florence telescope has these telescoping lens sections as well, but they are stuck inside the telescope IMSS photos show the staves sticking out from ends of the main tube.  We therefore include telescoping tubes  in our  2428 replica.

IMSS photos of the staves sticking out of the body of original telescope gave us a good measurement for the outer diameter of the sliding tubes but not their length

The length of the objective tube we were able to establish to an accuracy of about 1 centimeter. To get this length we used our measurements of the expanded portion of the main telescope tube at the objective end  which is expanded  down the main  barrel to accommodate  the sliding tube.

 For the eyepiece tube we chose to use  the length of 27 cm  as was  used in Cipriani replica at the Adler Planetarium . If  Information surfaces to the contrary  it can be cut back to 12 cm where the decorations on this tube start.

We also  looked into the information to be gained for an estimate of sliding tube dimensions  from the Cipriani replicas. We looked into two of his replicas one at the Science Museum south Kensington London reported by  Baxandall in our  ref 1.   The second from our  measurements of a Cipriani replica at Alders Planetarium

Baxandall  in his drawings do not agree with each other to within 10%  nor do they replicate the outer dimensions of the original where the diameters are different as much as 10%  which is a factor of 10 greater than our goal for accuracy.

Also strangely the Cipriani telescope does not have a red marble paper covered eyepiece which would have been altogether out of stile with the rest of the original instrument but has a decorated disk framing the eyepiece down in the container similar to the objective. A detailed examination of his replicas shows a number of strong differences between them and the orginal ranging from dimensional differences to art work differences It almost like Cipriani tried to incorporate improvements and changes to make it easier to build.

We also took detailed photos of the decorations covering the telescoping sections of the Adler instrument. They are a combinations of the deco's on the out side but patterned and scaled differently. We did not incorporate any of Cipriani inconsistencies in dimensions and  We chose not to make them out of cardboard as Baxandall reports that Cipriani did for the replica for the science museum London. We stayed with  the stave construction which is consistent with the rest of the original telescope.

The visit Adler to get detailed pictures and measurement of the art deco on their number 2 replica was also very valuable. Although there are some issues in scaling and details in shape of the Cipriani instrument that are not true to the original telescope we were able to use then to get a better prospective of the finer detail always referring back to the original to make the final decision for this project.


ref 1, Replicas of Two Galileo Telescopes by David Baxandall, 1924 Trans Opt. Soc. 25 141-144

Figure 9 Image from The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy pg 123

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

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Copyright 04/18/2007 Jim & Rhoda Morris