20. Transit telescope by Reichenbach, Utzschneider und Liebherr
Munich, c. 1814
Georg Friedrich von Reichenbach (Durlach 1772- Munich 1826)
Joseph von Utzschneider (Rieden 1761 - Munich 1840)
Joseph Liebherr (Immenstadt 1767 - Munich 1840)

length of telescope 97 cm
diameter of object lens 8 cm
[Inv. MdS-123]

In 1815 Sissonís transit telescope [file 19] was replaced by this more modern exemplar, built using the latest German technology and signed Reichenbach, Utzschneider und Liebherr in Münich. The doric columns which had supported Sissonís instrument were replaced by ionic-style columns, as can be seen in a drawing of the period (Reg. Sp. Bo., vol. of 1815 in date 30 May, Arch. Dip. Astron. Bo.).
An accurate description can be found in Ceschiís 1843 inventory:

"Three-foot Transit telescope by Reichenbach and Utzschneider with achromatic object lens of 3 inch aperture, eyepiece and filar micrometer frame. Attached to the right arm of the instrument is an alidade bearing a Nonius, for subdividing the parts of the semicircle, which is able to provide the fifteenth part of the last divisions of the Semicircle, i.e. an arcmin.
A bearing for the east arm, in which the level can be corrected, and from which by means of the appropriate device light can be transmitted inside the telescope
. (not found)
A stirrup level that can be suitably corrected to reduce the bubble in the middle of the tube.
Two vertical arms which used to belong to this level but which were replaced by the two currently in use.
(not found)
Cover for the aperture of the object lens, replaced by a lighter one, so that the instrument would remain in equilibrium at whatever elevation. (not found)
No. 3 colored glass plates with frames. (not found)
Two handles for making azimuthal and vertical corrections in the 2 bearings that carry the axis of the telescope. (not found)
Two lever arms with counterweights and arms that in large part sustain the weight of the instrument, so it does not rest on the bearings.
Two brass lamps with wicks, one of which is used for transmitting light inside the telescope, where it illuminates the micrometer, the other for illuminating the dial of Grahams Pendulum.
(not found)
A second eyepiece of greater magnification.
Both the indicated bearings and the 2 levers placed on top are screwed to other metal pieces sunk in the 2 columns, which support the whole apparatus described.
(not found)
A small clamp that is to be attached to the graduated semicircle, where the Telescope should be positioned for an immediately consecutive transit."
It was not possible to recognize with any certainty the object lens, because its mounting parts were probably missing, or the eyepieces because of the absence of the relevant tube and micrometer frame.
Some parts of the lever arms with counterweights that sustained the weight of the instrument probably remain.
A note by Rajna of 1913 regarding the restructuring of the Meridian Room (Arch. Dip. Astron. Bo., busta XXVIIII) testifies to the withdrawal of the instrument from service. In the same period the columns carrying it were also knocked down. One of the bases of the original columns still exists, built into the parapet of the balcony which provides access to the Meridian Room; on the south-east wall of the room is a cupboard with doors, designed to hold the main accessories of the instrument such as the level.

Georg von Reichenbach, mechanic and optician in Munich, was one of the major instrument makers of the 1800s, especially for the precision and detail of his instruments, which owed much to his engineering studies in England and his experience as official engineer to the Bavarian army in cannon casting. He teamed up with a watch-maker Joseph Liebherr and Joseph von Utzschneider, Bavarian businessman and for a few years burgomaster in Munich, to set up in 1802 the Mathematisch-Mechanisches Institut von Reichenbach, Utzschneider und Liebherr in Münich. In 1806 the young Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826) - who was to make an important contribution to the study of optics - started to collaborate with the workshop, thereby improving the optical quality of the instruments. A few years later Reichenbach, Utzschneider and Fraunhofer founded another institute devoted exclusively to optics, though in 1814 Reichenbach left his partners to build a factory with Traugott Lebrecht Ertel. Finally, in 1820, he gave up scientific instrument making to become director of the Bavarian Central Office for roads and bridges where he managed, here too, to produce some outstanding work, such as the biggest pump in the world which allowed water to overcome a 350 meter rise and which remained in operation until 1958.

E. Baiada, A. Braccesi (1983), pp. 125-126, fig. 29a-29b.
E. Engberts (1970).
M. Daumas (1953).
E. Miotto, G. Tagliaferri, P. Tucci (1990), p. 113.
J.A. Repsold (1908 and 1914).