J.W. Fecker - Amateur Telescope Maker
Henry King, The History of the Telescope, p370, 395-6: J.W.
Fecker, one of the first to master the construction of the Schmidt
camera. Father, Gottlieb L. Fecker worked at Warner & Swasey
1895-, (holds patent marked on W. & S. binocular). J.W. started
own business in Cleveland & in 1926 took over Brashear-McDowell
after death of M. First large job, 69 inch f4.3 for Perkins
Observatory, Ohio Wesleyan. 1933, refigured 60 inch f5.1 mirror by
Common at Harvard, made new mount, then sent to Bloemfontein in
South Africa. Paraskevopoulos designed & made set of control
rods to adjust figure of the primary for different inclinations of
the telescope. 1937, first large Fecker telescope, 61 inch f5.1
Wyeth telescope for Harvard's Agassiz station, Cassegrain -
Newtonian, fork mount. 1940, 60 inch f5 for Warner & Swasey at
Cordoba Obs., Argentina. Also designed & built the Copernican
Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History. Died 1945, had
started work on a 60 inch / 60 inch f2.5 Schmidt for Harvard. J.W.
Fecker Inc. continued, built two 10 inch refractors, 8 inch Mak at
City College, N.Y.; 24 inch for Arizona State College, Flagstaff;
38 inch Cassegrain for Butler U., Indiana. You'll find ads for
Fecker telescopes (mostly professional but also amateur) in Sky
& Telescope circa 1950.
||John Brashear Co.
||J.W. Fecker Company
||A division of the Kollmorgen Company?
||Contraves Goerz (name was later shortened to just
||Contraves Brashear Systems (a transitional name)
The John Brashear Company was established in 1881 and the Goerz
Optical Company in 1905. The descendant companies of these two
pioneers were purchased in 1974 by a Swiss corporation, Contraves
A.G., and united to form Contraves Goerz Corporation. Its name
later changed to Contraves Inc.
Today's Contraves Brashear Systems was founded in 1997 when the
Fire Control Systems and Surveillance divisions of Contraves Inc.
were acquired by William E. Conway, a founding partner of the
Carlyle Group. The Company operates two manufacturing facilities in
the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and employs over 100 scientists,
engineers, opticians and support staff. The Company operates in
four diverse, but complimentary product areas:
- Telescope Systems
- Optical Components
- Electro Optical Systems for Fire Control
- Tracking and Surveillance
From the Amateur Telescope Makers (ATM) Archives