Original U.S. WWII Navy 16x MkI Quartermaster Spyglass Refracting Telescope by Fee and Stemwedel Inc with Wood Case - Dated 1942

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. A refracting telescope (also called a refractor) is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image (also referred to a dioptric telescope). The refracting telescope design was originally used in spyglasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long-focus camera lenses. Although large refracting telescopes were very popular in the second half of the 19th century, for most research purposes, the refracting telescope has been superseded by the reflecting telescope, which allows larger apertures. A refractor's magnification is calculated by dividing the focal length of the objective lens by that of the eyepiece.

Refracting telescopes typically have a lens at the front, then a long tube, then an eyepiece or instrumentation at the rear, where the telescope view comes to focus. Originally, telescopes had an objective of one element, but a century later, two and even three element lenses were made.

Refracting telescope is a technology that has often been applied to other optical devices, such as binoculars and zoom lenses/telephoto lens/long-focus lens.

This is a wonderful example of a 1942 Spyglass, used by Quartermasters aboard US Naval ships during WWII. Quartermasters (QM) stand watch as assistants to Officers of the deck and navigators. They serve as helmsman and perform ship control, navigation and bridge watch duties. Your duties may include: Procure, correct, use and stow navigational and oceanographic publications and oceanographic charts. A telescope would have been an important piece of equipment for them to use!

These are the MkI Spyglass and have a serial number of 25840. The optic lenses are still very clear and still able to be focused properly. There are markings present on both the telescope and the case.

Markings on Case
SERIAL NO. 25840

Markings on Telescope
MK.I NO.25840

Coming of age during the wireless revolution, electrical engineers Albert L. Stemwedel (b. 1904) and Richard L. Fee (b. 1900) were part of the same generation of young Chicago entrepreneurs who’d launched radio giants like Zenith, Motorola, and Admiral. They were just slightly late to the party.

Fee spent the ‘20s (which were also his 20s) working as an electrician in Waukegan, while Stemwedel—a graduate of the Armour Institute of Technology—was an electrical contractor living in Rogers Park. We don’t know if their paths crossed in the interim, but it wasn’t until after the stock market crash of 1929 that they seem to have officially gone into business together, striking while the iron was lukewarm.

Both of these items are in lovely, barely used condition and still very funcionable today. Comes ready to display in your US Navy collections!

Box Dimensions: 32 ½” x 4 ½” x 4 ¾”
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