I've attended Stellafane every year except two since 1973.
I've read and reread the ATM book series since I first owned a set in my
So when Skinner Auction House in Boston announced a scientific equipment
auction in 2007 that included a Porter Garden Telescope, I had to bid on
it!! As luck would have it, I won!! It seems that only two of us bid. Is it
perfect - no, it has a replacement primary mirror (assuming that Edmund
Scientific didn't exist in 1933 :>) :>) and a couple other
minor imperfections. But overall its in great shape. #53 is the last known
instrument made of the 15 now known to exist. I will take good care of it.
I loaned #53 to Science Museum, London for several years as part of their
"Cosmos and Culture" exhibit. It was an interesting experience teaching me
NOT to loan instruments to at least foreign museums.
I hope to fully document its history and present it here...so stay tuned!
1938 Painting by RW Porter
made during one of his frequent camping trips though SW USA. Acquired from
owner near Concord NH
watercolor of a "Garden Telescope", totally different than those built 3
years later. Note how Porter shows a cutaway optical path. This idea gets
highly refined in his Palomar drawings.
Fiala signature & RW
Porter sketch and signature inside front cover of my copy of Fiala's polar exploration
book. Note that Fiala signed at book publication while Porter signed and
drew his sketch much later while working at Palomar.