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Museum: Telescopes & Artifacts

Here is a small selection of Telescopes and Artifacts from our extensive collection:

6-inch Newtonian

6-inch Newtonian telescope built by O. S. Marshall, E. H. Redfield, and R. W. Porter.

Scientific American, November 1925

Cover of Scientific American, November, 1925. Painting by Howard Brown.

Scientific American Cover, March 1926

Cover of Scientific American, March, 1926. Painting by Howard Brown.


“In recognition of his inspiration and zeal in amateur telescope making Stellafane bestows on its founder, Russell William Porter the office of honorary president. Springfield Telescope Makers, Springfield, Vt. 1935.” Drawing.

2.5 Inch Scope

2 1/2-inch Newtonian telescope. The mirror was ground and polished by Caroline Porter under the guidance of her father, while she was a young girl living in Springfield, Vermont, sometime between 1919 and 1929. The rest of the telescope was made by R. W. Porter.

Garden Telescope #31

Garden Telescope, number 31.

John Pierce Mirror Kit

Mirror making kit sold by John M. Pierce, showing the mirror and tool blanks, abrasives in original tin cans, and pitch in original cardboard container.

John Pierce ATM castings

Telescope making castings sold by John M. Pierce, showing a tube cradle, mirror cell rings, eyepiece housings, focus tube holders, etc.


These parts belong to the spectrohelioscope invented by Dr. George E. Hale for observing the entire surface of the sun at one time and at any desired wavelength (color). Russell W. Porter had them shipped to the Springfield Telescope Makers after he went to California to work for Hale on the design of the 200-inch telescope. Unfortunately, before the parts could be assembled into a final instrument, the diffraction grating used to separate the wavelengths was destroyed in a fire. At that time it was extremely costly to produce diffraction gratings and this one was never replaced, which put an end to the spectrohelioscope at Stellafane.

Hale Spectrohelioscope Bulliten

Front cover to the bulletin, “The New Hale Spectrohelioscope, Built and sold by Howell & Sherburne Co., Pasadena, California.”

Spectrohelioscope Drawing

Perspective and plan drawing of solar telescope and spectrohelioscope, by R. W. Porter, no date.

Hartness Sundial

Sundial by James Hartness.

Calendar Wheel

Detail of the calendar wheel on the Hartness sundial.


Knife edge and kerosene lamp pinhole source by R. W. Porter as appeared in a Porter drawing in ATM I. Gift from Leo J. Scanlon.


Spherometer owned by R. W. Porter.

Items from Porter's workshop

Miscellaneous telescope making parts including a pitch lap covered with original rouge, from the workshop of R. W. Porter in Pasadena, CA. Gift from Arthur S. Leonard, 1987.

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