Natural Philosophy Collection

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  ABDUA18597.jpg - C. S. Passemant? Gregorian Reflector James Gregory, inventor of the reflecting telescope in the early 1660s, was a native of Drumoak, near Aberdeen.  He attended Marischal College for four years as a regular student and graduated in 1657.  Gregory was foremost a mathematician, taking up posts in St Andrews University and later in Edinburgh University.  He invented the reflecting telescope from a consideration of the mathematics of image formation.  He had a small prototype made in London but it did not work well, due to the difficulty experienced in shaping the surfaces exactly.  Newton's later variant design was also practically demonstrated (by Newton) who made two almost toy-like prototypes.  Neither reflecting telescope configuration made an impact in astronomy for half a century after their invention. This particular example dated to around 1730 is in fact quite an early commercial Gregorian telescope.  John Hadley showed in 1720 that both reflecting designs had the potential to perform as well if not better than contemporary refracting telescopes.  Gregorian instruments became fashionable throughout the 18th century.  This instrument is not part of the 'Natural Philosophy Collection of Historical Instruments' but is in the 'Marischal Museum' collection and is presumed to be a gift to the College, probably from an alumni. ABDUA:18597  
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2 | C. S. Passemant? Gregorian Reflector

James Gregory, inventor of the reflecting telescope in the early 1660s, was a native of Drumoak, near Aberdeen. He attended Marischal College for four years as a regular student and graduated in 1657. Gregory was foremost a mathematician, taking up posts in St Andrews University and later in Edinburgh University. He invented the reflecting telescope from a consideration of the mathematics of image formation. He had a small prototype made in London but it did not work well, due to the difficulty experienced in shaping the surfaces exactly. Newton's later variant design was also practically demonstrated (by Newton) who made two almost toy-like prototypes. Neither reflecting telescope configuration made an impact in astronomy for half a century after their invention.

This particular example dated to around 1730 is in fact quite an early commercial Gregorian telescope. John Hadley showed in 1720 that both reflecting designs had the potential to perform as well if not better than contemporary refracting telescopes. Gregorian instruments became fashionable throughout the 18th century. This instrument is not part of the 'Natural Philosophy Collection of Historical Instruments' but is in the 'Marischal Museum' collection and is presumed to be a gift to the College, probably from an alumni.

ABDUA:18597

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