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A Telescope Mystery


In the years around 1850-1900 it is likely that the Carluke Useful Knowledge Society obtained or purchased a Newtonian telescope, with a main mirror a little over 18 inches diameter, probably constructed in E. Anglia by the well-known English telescope-maker George Calver (1834-1927)

Little was known about it until an astronomy website began fruitless inquiries some years ago based on the discovery of a Calver telescope base in a field in Braidwood.

The mystery of the telescope was revealed by Brenda Aitken or Paterson who in 2017 lives in Nemphlar. She and her sister married two brothers. Thelma married Billy Aitken and she married Nicol Aitken. The sisters lived in Braidwood where the telescope is now.

Billy Aitken, assisted by Nicol, had transported the telescope from Lanark about 1970 and placed it in a field owned by the Paterson family very close to where Dr Hunter-Selkirk lived in Braidwood. It had belonged to Andrew Hunter of Braxfield Road. He had the telescope in his garden, where it had a wooden platform and a clock arrangement so that it could turn on its rails to follow the phases of the moon.

When the Patersons sold the land the brothers removed the lenses for safety but left the telescope body in the field.



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Last Updated on Feb-04-2017