We have Precisely Replicated  Both of Galileo's  Existing Telescopes
This page concentrates on the Adler Planetarium replica. Click here to see other telescope IMSS # 2428
See what Galileo's telescopes looked like when they were new
 Jim & Rhoda Morris
      of      SciTechAntiques.com     Contact us at    Galileo@comcast.net   or   781 245 2897
last changes  02/11/2013 04:18 PM
Return to a shorter page of both telescopes

Below probably the most historically important yet  unheralded telescope in the progress of science  One of Galileo's development instruments as it would have appeared when new. A simple telescope  no decorations, paper covered, split wooden tubes, wired wrapped to keep halves together. The lenses and apertures are easily replaced,  held in with  wire snap rings. etc.

Michelle Nichols Master Educator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago Illinois  checking out  Adler's new replica of Galileo's telescope IMSS 2427. which we  made precisely to the specifications of Galileo's original telescope( note 10). There is no antiquing here.  It appears and works as  the instruments he was using  in  his famous work of searching, interpreting, and educating.

While Ms. Nichols is running the preliminary test of the telescope's  performance, scanning the down town skyline of Chicago from the Adler Planetarium. We three are intently  discussing  the challenges Galileo faced  as he was searching the heavens with his telescope and marveling at Galileo skills as an experimentalist. Click here for a picture and short technical discussion and demonstration of what it is like to look through  Galileo's telescope.  

Adler Planetarium a fortress of knowledge With its extraordinary collection of very beautiful astronomical instruments old and new and hands on displays of how they work. Plus the best view of the famous Chicago sky line.

Click photos to get larger picture

Above making measurements on the IMSS #2427 at the museum in Florence Italy

Above a cut away of the IMSS #2427 showing the interior constructions complete with a sliding eyepiece tube

Above a specially constructed eyepiece lens holder for  the IMSS # 2427  using a positive eyepiece lens  a Kepler 1611 design) giving a larger field of view. We changed the focal length from 100 to 50 mm increasing the instrument power to over 26.  We also have made the eyepiece extra long which allows the telescope to focus to less than 50 feet so that it might be used inside a large room.

 IMSS 2427 half telescope mounted on stand showing all the details of the inner world of Galileo's development telescope. The eyepiece can slide in and out. Throw a light shield over the  telescope and it can be used.

Galileo documented the method  he thought best to explore the  scientific world  in a letter he wrote to the Tuscan court of March 1610. In this letter he recommended a hands on approach to learning. He believed that everyone should be exposed to this method of teaching so that all could  learn for themselves about scientific discoveries and not from those afflicted with emotionally or political biases agendas

Galileo Galilei's 1610 letter to the Tuscan court of March 1610

 "In order to maintain and increase the renown of these discoveries, it appears to me necessary to have the truth seen and recognized, by means of the effect itself, by as many people as possible.

I have done, and am doing, this in Venice and Padua. But "spyglasses" that are most exquisite and capable of showing all the observations are very rare, and among the sixty that I have made, at great cost and effort, I have been able to find only a very small number. These few, however, I have planned to send to great princes, and in particular to the relatives of the Most Serene Grand Duke. And already I have been asked for instruments] by the Most Serene Duke of Bavaria and the Elector of Cologne, and also by the Most Illustrious and Reverend Cardinal Del Monte, to whom I shall send [spyglasses] as soon as possible, together with the treatise. My desire would be to send them also to France, Spain, Poland, Austria, Mantua, Modena, Urbino, and wherever else it would please His Most Serene Highness."

ref 9
Click here  For more about Galileo's intuitive understanding of the big issues of science and trust.

Following Galileo's concept above we are furnishing

IMSS 2428
Click on the picture to enlarge the image

For Sale
Museum grade clones of both of Galileo's Telescopes. 

We are also providing accessories and half models to demonstrate the details of their internal construction.
call 781 245 2897    Galileo@comcast.net

IMSS 2427
Click on the picture to enlarge the image
click here to visit our site

for more details

Galileo as a technologist is one of the purist case studies we can use to help us  understand the dramatic role that basic scientific research plays in our health, society, business, religion, culture. and the health of our planet.

Galileo's world of how science is done 400 years ago is not very different from today. Basically, there are greater numbers of people, and we have a substantially increased speed of communication of accurate and inaccurate information. The cost of basic research which was born by the Dukes and Princes in the 1600’s is still paid for today  by our governments. Schools  and museums are still responsible for teaching us the truths of science. Interesting not enough citizens understand the science of science.

Galileo's  model of teaching is almost universally accepted (to some not nearly enough). We would make one small update in his definition of  truths. We would  include not only what we see  in the telescopes but to see how the world of science really works, remembering that there are no words powerful enough to express the importance of basic scientific research.

So by studying the scientific career of Galileo Galilei, along with a very accurate replication of his  instruments, experiments, methods, materials, and funding or any part there of we can significantly improve our understanding of the very heart of science.  Again we say Galileo Galilei strongly favored this approach. Today it is even more important because of the increased strength of the impact of science on all of us.  Current topics Stem cell, Global Warming basic research etc. need our understanding of the science of science.

Good  replicas give  users a tactile as well as a visual sense of  the original telescope. It's like being in a time machine traveling  back to 1609.  A very brief list of some of the items that come up in Galileo's story that are good examples and should be included in a study plan that shows  how Science works are listed below.  Random thought for a study plan

Museums like the Adler Planetarium  bring you to the instrument of science  and connect you to their history and to your future.

The Adler Planetarium is a must place to visit  They have a magnificent collection of Astronomical instruments on display. Lots of things to do and see. Its a very interactive place,  fun to visit, learn, and play  The Planetarium is located on a man made island with a spectacular view of the Chicago's skyline.


The two telescopes attributive to Galileo now at IMSS in Florence Italy and the two precise replicas we made of them.

Telescope #1
This web page has our details of  the replication of Galileo's experimental telescope which we made For Adler's Planetarium.

You can see the original at Florance Italy.
IMSS INV # 2427

  Original Telescopes at


IMSS Florence Italy

Telescope #2 

Click here
to go to  the  web site  which has the details of the replication  of Galileo's 
red leather presentation style  telescope that we made For Griffith Observatory.

You can see the  original at IMSS at Florance Italy.
 IMSS INV # 2428

Click Here to see the start of a page about another historically significant  instrument found at IMSS

Telescope  #1    
Replicating Galileo's Telescope
IMSS INV # 2427 For the Adler Planetarium
No Words are Powerful Enough to Express the Importance of Basic Scientific Research To Each of Us and  Our Children.

click on photo above to see larger version then click on that photo to make it even larger.

Building  Museum Grade Replicas of the Telescopes attributed to Galileo.

These telescopes have a valuable story to tell. To some they are like the holy grail of science. By looking at how they were designed,  the materials used, and the methods of manufacturing gives us a window into the past  through which we can tell allot about Galileo his colleagues as  technologist, as marketer, the sources of funding, and the politics of politics. They are delightful teaching tools of what science is all about.

Replication has its challenges especially if one attempts to reproduce the telescopes as they would have looked like new, a panoply of ornamentation and craftsmanship. One can not use the originals as a sole reference source. They have a moving legacy of stresses  left from normal aging, neglect, untold restorations, and mistakes in their inventorial process.

It is not a project that can be taken lightly These Telescopes are internationally important  symbols teaching us about how basic scientific research works including  the struggles that it faces.  They therefore deserve careful attention to every detail in their replication including resolving as many of the uncertain issues as possible. Replication  requires considerable first hand experience  in the experimental arts of the relevant science. In Galileo's case,  knowledge in product development is also important because Galileo had business commitments  designing and manufacturing military and scientific instruments. These forces are not always taken into account  in  determining how Galileo designed his instrument. An example, to a replicator with product development experience. the choice of negative versus positive eyepiece lenses which Galileo made in developing his telescope was more likely to have been  a marketing consideration  rather than a scientific one.

Replicating  these telescopes as in all scientific issues accuracy is a prime goal. One has to be cautious in using data from those chroniclers'  of  such literature that is written in a spiced  up way to make their work more saleable for personal gain.

Creditable museum grade replication requires time consuming research. Even the best reference material including the item being replicated carry mistakes many of which are reborn every time a new paper about them or replica is issued. Galileo and his telescopes are no exceptions.  There is no lack of questionable papers about him and his instruments in which typographical or measurement errors have been  created and repeated when copying  earlier references that are not based on prime sources.

We were determined to reduce the number of  the uncertainties. We believe that we have achieved this and that our replicas have established a new standard of accuracy in the reproduction of these extraordinary telescopes.

We have been able to this  because of the patience and  very professional help of  the staff at IMSS in Florence Italy where the telescopes are on display, the staff of the Griffith Observatory for their sponsorship of replicating
 IMSS INV # 2428, and the staff of Adler Planetarium for their sponsorship of replicating  the IMSS INV # 2427 and by giving us access to their very interesting replicas made by Cipriani. All have made it possible for us to make measurements and make high resolution photos of  the originals and some of Cipriani's  replica telescopes. They also have shared  their considerable experience of  these instruments with us. We found It absolutely essential to  have had access to these wonderful instruments to make the necessary  measurements  to aid in  resolving  a number  of important differences in the data for dimensions and materials in the  published literature  and the  existing replicas from the originals. We made concerted effort in checking and cross checking our data  in  resolving  these differences.

During these  projects we have generated  a number of web pages which are in the form of a diary/lab note book  style of our progress. There is a lot valuable detail data on our web  pages but  it will take patients and a lot of data mining to  get at all of the valuable information that we have collected and generated. We have also added  our view (as experienced experimental technologist that have the  passion for science) of Galileo as a technologist. We would appreciate inputs and contributions

Respectfully, Jim & Rhoda Morris
No Words are Powerful Enough to Express the Importance of Basic Scientific Research To Each of Us  and Our Children.


 Below are construction details of IMSS 2427
Don't forget to click the thumbnails to get larger photos

Below is a typical  photo of a set of over a  100 taken by the authors of Galileo's Number 1 and 2 telescopes at the lovely IMSS in Florence Italy. The one below is  of the objective end of the original  number 1 scope. It shows  the main barrel is made  from two halves of wood . In addition to shows the two halves glued and   wired together and covered with paper which has been painted and falling  off. It shows the scraping of the wood surface by the builder. We used  it to help to establish a set of the dimensions which we have used in  comparing it  with  replicas made by Cipriani ref #1. and in building our replica.

Below photos, drawings, and roughed out blanks of the objective and eyepiece for our replica compared to the original IMSS INV 2427,  Ref #1,3,4