December 13, 2008 #063 - Amateur Astronomy Handbook

I wonder how many out there remember the Amateur Astronomy Handbook published by Fawcett as a How To Book #454 for 75 cents. It was published in 1960 and I found it at the local drug store along with several other how-to-books, in one of those revolving wire magazine racks that were placed near the check out counter in those days. I have saved it over these almost 50 years. I am sure the pages were turned hundreds of times during my boyhood. It contains plans for all kinds of astronomy projects and at one time or another I dreamed of building almost all of them.

My favorite project was the Wide Angle Telescope - Camera constructed with the lens from a K-22 Aerial Camera Lens Cone with a Tessor Optical System, f/6, 24" focal length. The cost of this lens was (Used $39.50) (New $59.50) at Edmund Scientific. It stated that this lens cost the U.S. Government $1200, and we talk about the cost of government hammers today. That would be about 10 times that amount in today's dollars. Of coarse that was way out of my reach even at the used price! But I did look at those pages over and over. They even had one of these Lens Cones at the local Army Surplus Store where I lingered many times looking at it from all directions.

Just looking at these pages again makes me want to see if that K-22 is still available on the net.

Clear Sky - Rich

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