Spencer Browning & Rust Telescope

Need help dating my Spencer Browning & Rust Day and Night Telescope

by Pat Knodel (Merritt, B.C.)

My Spencer Browning & Rust Day and Night Telescope was passed down to me by my father.

His great grandfather brought it to Canada from England.

The optics still work as I have had several people tell me that they can focus on the objects they wish to see.

When I searched on the internet all I can find is a day or night telescope that is similar and that it is circa 1800-1810.

Now apparently there are roman numbers scribed on the telescope in several places but I have not been able to find them.

As it has not been cleaned in years and I was told not to clean it because it would take away the authenticity.

So I have no further information or even a value for this prized possession.

Day or Night Telescope Makers Mark

Photo shows an example Dollond London Day or Night Telescope Makers Mark

I would love for someone to help me narrow down the date it was made, and maybe the value of it.

I don’t have a camera to take a picture of it but I can send an article that I found on the internet which has a picture similar to the Spencer Browning & Rust Day and Night Telescope that I have.

Thanks and all help appreciated,


Comments on Pat’s Spencer Browning & Rust Day and Night Telescope

who makes day or night telescopes? by: ron

I have a spyglass or telescope that has a brass and wood feeling grip. It folds together at 11 seven eight inches and extends to 35 and a quarter.

It has lens sliding covers at each end with a brass sliding section on the big end of the telescope for focussing.

On the small brass section it has Day and Night inscribed on it and thats all.

Other telescopes I’ve seen on the internet have a name inscribed plus day and night. I cant find any other writing on mine.

Is this normal? It does look very old, which it has to be because it was my wifes grandfathers. How old do you think it is and is it worth anything much.

Thank you for your time, Ron

Charlie by: CLS

I too have a scope (copper, 2-piece) passed down fron my great grandfather marked: “Spencer Browning & Co, London Day or Night”

I would like to know the value, date or any other info? (Photos available)


Day or Night Telescopes by: Curtis

Hi Pat, I believe Day or Night telescopes were made by many telescope makers during the middle of the 19th Century and it can depend on the run of the telescope whether it was made before this.

If the telescope runs towards the eyepiece then it was probably produced after c1830.

Day or Night telescopes where designed for both terrestial and astronomical use, and usually had limited ability to focus on specific objects in the night sky.

Much better for viewing galaxies, etc.

You might want to search for George Huggins or Dolland as he was later called for more information on Day or Night telescopes.

1 Comment

  1. Rob Irwin January 13, 2014

    There’s an excellent article on George Huggins and the Dollond family on the Oxford dictionary site. It describes how he helped improve refracting telescopes and the invention of the achromatic telescope lens.

    Dollond family (per. 1750–1871), makers of optical and scientific instruments by Gloria Clifton

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