November 3, 2010 #105 – John A. Brashear Optics – Part 1

When you were looking to obtain a quality optical instrument in the 1800’s or early 1900’s, one of the major manufacturers was John A. Brashear. He was born in November 1840, got a look through a telescope when he was eight, and was then taught a love of astronomy by his maternal grandfather as he grew up. He served a mechanical apprenticeship graduating in 1860. He then spent the next twenty one years working as a master mill wright in a series of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Roller Mills. He fell in love with Phoebe Stewart and married her in 1862. Thus began a story of an inspiring love between two people, of astronomy, and an odyssey of lens making which later led to a life of scientific achievement, and one of Americas foremost companies producing astronomical telescopes and ancillary instruments.

The following history was published in the 1910-11, “McClures’s Magazine – Vol. XXXVI”.

(Click to enlarge)


Clear Sky - Rich

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