Weird Crap in Mike’s House

Posted by on July 4, 2013 in Fun | 0 comments

Weird Crap in Mike’s House

Whenever someone sees Chez Mike (AKA: Distant Sun’s World HQ for Global Domination) I invariably have to give a tour and explain lot’s of the weird crap I have scattered about. This is the first virtual “weird crap” tour that I’ll post to make it look like I really am paying attention to my website and Distant Suns.

150 years ago this past week was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle was expected by Robert E. Lee to destroy the morale of the “Unionists” forcing them into surrender. It is said that he even carried articles of surrender to be signed by President Lincoln. However the Confederates suffered a humiliating and devastating defeat that was the real turning point of the war. Up to that point, the South was definitely in charge, but after the fateful and desperate “Pickett’s Charge,” on July 3, 1865, the equation changed. So it is fitting that my first “Weird Crap” column covers my collection¬†¬†of Civil War-era telescopes.

Civil War-era telescopes

I just stumbled upon these at an auction last year. The original owners are unknown, and whether these were actually actively used in battle is likewise unknown, but it is likely that they were. The scopes vary from the tiniest, which is about 7″ long when stretched out (3″ when collapsed) and about 3 power, to the largest that’s about 20 inches long and is about 10 power.

Each is different, all made of brass, with one using wood on the largest segment. and another leather. Optically they are not too bad and have been used several times for lunar and planetary observations. A far cry from when they may have been used to scout out Johnny Reb at the Battle of Vicksburg.

You may likely be able to pick up your own scope3X CIvil War telescope and my Celestron for about $250 from any of the many antique web sites that concentrate on the mid-1800s and Civil War period collectables.