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Artifact Description

The single-draw refracting telescope recovered (preserved L. 24.2cm, external draw Diam. 4.0cm, weight 431grs) from the Jacksonville "Blue China" wreck site was located at the northern, stern end of the ship’s remains in the vicinity of the former main cabin. This object would have most likely belonged to the captain. The recovered object includes the eye end and about half of the interior portion of the telescope including the erecting lens. The half of the tube below the erecting lens and the end containing the objective lens are missing. The eyepiece housing is pierced with a central glass eyepiece with a 1.55cm-wide central aperture. From here the eyepiece housing broadens through a series of three bands to a 5.8cm wide flange. Inserted into the eyepiece housing is a very thinly sheathed cupreous draw, 0.47mm thick, overlying the core draw.

The telescope is believed to date from 1820-40. While this 20-year timeframe predates most of the other artifacts discovered at Site BA02, this form of instrument was frequently continued in use over a long period of time, with some 19th-century telescopes even surviving in use during World War II.

X-rays of the Site BA02 telescope have not revealed any maker’s name or mark, but demonstrated that the two glass elements occupy about one-quarter of the object at each end. They also revealed a small sliding cover to protect the eye lens and a small knob that would have been used to slide the cover on and off the eyepiece. When recovered, the telescope was covered with its original protective wooden tube. A two-draw telescope from the early 19th-century ‘Mardi Gras’ shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico, probably manufactured by ‘T Harris & Son of London’, retains its wooden tube and is very similar typologically.

Other Details

L. 24.2cm