This single draw telescope was made by Nairne of London. Edward Nairne was a noted instrument maker and Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1772 he is known to have supplied a barometer to Sir Joseph Banks in anticipation of Cook's second voyage to the Pacific. This is a single draw, high and low magnification telescope with a thumb wheel on the eye piece to allow the user to adjust the strength of the magnification.
SignificanceThe Nairne telescope represents navigational equipment used on ships during the 18th and 19th century. It is a rare example of a scientific instrument designed by the master instrument maker, Edward Nairne.
HistoryEdward Nairne was a noted London instrument maker known to have sold barometers, dipping circles, hygrometers, astrolabes, microscopes and telescopes between 1752 and 1796. He was a partner of Thomas Blunt and one of the most well-known telescope manufacturers of the 18th century. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1776; received a royal appointment to George III in 1785, and was a member of the Spectacle-makers Company of London between 1768 and 1797. He supplied instruments - notably a barometer to Sir Joseph Banks in 1772 in anticipation of Cook's second pacific voyage.