Macketts of Brighton

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michael feist
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Macketts of Brighton

Post by michael feist »

Does anyone have any additional information about Macketts of Brighton. Telescope makers just up the road from George Hole's workshop in Preston Village. I am going back to the 1960's with this and I visited Macketts just once to get a lens to use as an eyepiece for a mirror that George made. I have had a request from the SHA for information concerning telescopes that Macketts produced. Regards mike f.
michael feist
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by michael feist »

As follow-up on the Mackett question, I came across my research I did in 2010, on the SPA Forum, would you believe! 1 had forgotten all this. and did not have a copy of it either! In fact, when I entered the name Macketts Brighton, the only reference that came up was my research! Regards mike f.
jeff.stevens
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by jeff.stevens »

There's a lot of history stored in the vaults of these forums now, Mike.

[Edit: I joined this bulletin board in December 2004]

Best wishes, Jeff.
David Frydman
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by David Frydman »

Often when I google obscure topics, the only reference and article I get is mine.

I use this for information I have forgotten.

Sorry, I don't know Macketts.

Regards,
David
brian livesey
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by brian livesey »

Many good sources have disappeared in the mists of time. Who remembers H.W.English of Braintree? They were a veritable Alladin’s cave of lenses, prisms, gunsights and other war surplus.
brian
David Frydman
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by David Frydman »

H.W. English had enormous amounts of optics in the rear warehouse, including the floor strewn with hundreds of Soviet 8x30 monocular bodies.
The eyepieces were turned into the E59 eyepiece, which I used on my 150mm Maksutov. I saw Enceladus from a city balcony with this eyepiece.
The owner confided that he had problems with his hands as he got older.

Edward Marcus an optician had a renowned store in London selling binoculars, magnifiers and low vision aids. 1960s and later.
He imported Beck Kassel and other optics.
His son I think carried on and Edward Marcus Ltd. operates from Doncaster with a grandson and associates selling low vision aids.

Marston and Heard, and Youngs if I remember correctly, had vast stocks of ex gov and ex Ross optics.
Eventually the optics were thrown in skips and I rescued what I could.

Proops of Tottenham Court Road had vast stocks of optics, ex gov ex Ross etc.
They eventually moved near Camden Town.

Charles Franks of Glasgow sold vast amounts of similar optics and made telescopes in a separate place. Near Saltmarket.

Five of these dealers bought the Ark Royal aircraft carrier. I think it cost £100,000 to move her to be broken up for scrap.
I bought three 20 inch ball races from gun turrets for £20 each. They ended up as the base of rotating observatories.

Monks Optics only closed in recent years. Supplier of Fujinon, large and general binoculars etc.

Kershaw, Wray, Balham Optics, Dallmeyer, Taylor Hobson, National Optical Company, Ross, Barr and Stroud are all gone, except sometimes in name only.

Jaegers had a fire and closed in the U.S. A great source of optics. I think there is some kind of successor.
Edmund Optics in the U.S.still supplies great optics.

Regards,
David
David Frydman
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by David Frydman »

Broadhurst Clarkson operated from the 1700s.
Later bought by Dudley Fuller, a jazz pianist and telescope maker,

Crown Derby glass makers had something like a 32 inch telescope objective in their store when they eventually closed.

Rank bought Taylor Hobson and let it go.

Cooke Optics still makes very high end movie lenses, but has American owners.
Cooke lenses have been a Hollywood favourite for a hundred years, also used in Bollywood.

Why Britain, with such a great optics history, failed and other countries prospered, I really don't know.

Regards,
David
David Frydman
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by David Frydman »

In Holborn there were i think Baker and maybe Watson, suppliers of microscopes, telescopes, aircraft cameras, lenses etc.

Gamages and Houndsditch Warehouse sold binoculars etc.

Vic Oddens and Greens were good retailers.

There was Grubb Parsons in Northern Ireland and England.

Sinden optics.

Regards,
David
brian livesey
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by brian livesey »

There was also Brunnings of Holborn David. I once bought a four-inch/f.8 spherical mirror and unworked flat from them. The combination gave decent views of the Moon. I wonder if that 32” objective you mentioned was turned into a coffee table top?
brian
michael feist
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by michael feist »

David Sinden made the lens and mirror for the Camera Obscura, that was later reinstalled at the Foredown Tower. He shortened the focal length of the lens so that it would fit better in the Foredown Tower viewing gallery. At one stage it was intended that he would also make a Solar Telescope for the Tower but this never came to fruition. I spoke to him many times from the Tower, and it was very sad day when I discovered that he had died. Regards mike f.
Pricklebaby
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by Pricklebaby »

Hello All,

I can tell you a little about Macketts of Brighton. Cyril Mackett was my Great uncle, and was married to my Grandfather's sister, Louisa. (I knew her as Aunty Lou.) I never met him; he died a couple of years before I was born. He was clearly quite prolific as an engineer, designing and building domes and telescopes, which went all over the world. I have thank you letters from his customers from Rabat, Malta, Sao Paulo and Phoenix, Arizona. I also have letters from Sir Patrick Moore, who was clearly a colleague and friend, so I believe he was involved with instruments around the UK as well. Judging from the subject matter of some of the letters, he clearly did some work for the Government during WWII. They are discretely worded, so apart from some repair work, I don't know exactly how much.

(Although I am not aware of what it was, he became ill and gave up the business prior to his passing in 1966. My research is currently incomplete, so I can't be sure of the details of his last couple of years.)

I note in a couple of posts here that there is some speculation with regard to his father Alfred E Mackett. Alfred was a recipient of the 'Sir Joseph Whitworth' scholarship, and I have the memorial medal that he was awarded, dated 1883. Despite presumably being a reasonably talented engineer, as per the requirements of the scholarship, Alfred chose to go into teaching, becoming an assistant schoolmaster. So the comment that he didn't actually make anything appears to be accurate, but certainly does not apply to Cyril's business, C E Mackett's of Brighton. :D
David Frydman
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Re: Macketts of Brighton

Post by David Frydman »

Thank you for the information.

Horace Dall repaired and made lenses for all the Leitz microscopes in WW2. Possibly also Zeiss.
He also examined the V2 and calculated its performance.

Commander Henry Hatfield made a spectrohelioscope and designed his house in Sevenoaks around it.
Maybe only two in the U.K.
He had been in the navy and by mistake moved coordinates left instead of right or vice versa.
An armour piercing shell landed in an Italian 12th century Genoa cathedral tower and is maybe still there. It didn't detonate.

Regards,
David
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