36. Equatorial telescope by G. Adams
London, c. 1760-1770
George Adams (London 1704-1772)
brass, walnut triangular base with three feet
length of telescope 57 cm, diameter 5 cm
[Inv. MdS-3]

This small equatorial telescope is signed G. Adams London. It comes from the scientific laboratory of Lord George Cowper (1738-1789), originally housed in his Florentine residence and bought by the Cardinal Archbishop of Bologna Andrea Giovannetti (1722-1800) in 1790, with contributions from some of the local nobles, to donate it to the Institute of Science. Part of that collection can now be found in the Physics Museum of this University.
The mount is a classic model, much used around 1760: hence the date attributed the instrument.
Ceschi’s 1843 inventory provides the following description:

"Equatorial telescope of Adams adaptable to any geographical latitude for which can be obtained the azimuths and elevations, as well as right ascensions and declinations of the stars. All the rings are graduated and fitted with verniers, which provide the subdivisions, and cogs at the edge of these rings attached to endless screws that allow small movements to be made. The instrument can be levelled by adjusting three screws fitted to the feet of the instrument and by using two levels attached to the azimuth ring and positioned orthogonally one against the other. The 1 and ˝-foot telescope is fitted with an achromatic object lens with a 1 and ˝-inch aperture, and a single celestial eye-piece. Colored glass with metal frame. Three small brass nuts fit the screws in the feet. Screw cap which protects the object lens and its reflector. The design of this instrument is such it can also be used for geodetic purposes, though without the advantage of repetition...A triangular walnut base with three feet joined together by beams [Inv. MdS-158] which serves as stand for the equatorial telescope."
The present eye-piece [Inv. MdS-66] is not the original which was not found and whose absence does not allow us to say whether, among the many colored glasses found for observing the Sun, there is the one belonging to this instrument. The two levels and reflector are also missing. The attachments to the feet and the knob for declination movements have been restored (G. Morigi and S. Ciattaglia, Bologna 1982).
The workshop of George Adams was founded in 1735 under the sign Tycho-Brahe’s Head, in Fleet Street, initially to produce astronomical globes before shortly moving on to other scientific equipment. After his death, the founder was succeeded by his son George Adams Jr. (London 1750-1795), who would soon publish a wide range of texts on microscopy, geography, astronomy and physics. When George Jr. died, his brother Dudley bought all the stock at the auction, maintaining the trade-name until 1830. While at first all the instruments carried the manufacturing date, after 1760 only the name G. Adams London appeared, as on our instrument, which makes actual dating difficult.

E. Baiada, A. Braccesi (1983), p. 124.
J.A. Bennett (1987), pp. 92, 125.
E. Engberts (1970), pp. 47, 133.
M. Daumas (1956), p. 312.