Gregory Gross

Chapter 2. The Early Years

In This Chapter

  1. § 2.1. Characteristics of Early Questar Telescopes
  2. § 2.2. Photography with the Questar
  3. § 2.3. Marketing and Sales
  4. § 2.4. Adoption and Influence

As Lawrence and Marguerite Braymer began production on the Questar telescope in 1954, they transitioned their personal and professional lives to focus on building their new company. That year, Peter Dodd, Marguerite’s son from her first marriage, turned seventeen and was probably close to finishing high school if he had not already completed it. With fewer responsibilities as parents, Marguerite directed her attention to managing the office while Lawrence continued his full-time work building Questar Corporation.[1]

After eight years of design work, Lawrence was ready to materialize his plans. Partnering with a number of suppliers, he brought all of the elements of his new telescope together. With remarkable similarity to the product that Questar builds even today, those early production instruments had most of the features that Braymer was careful to patent in addition to several other refinements he introduced later.

But no matter how fine his telescopes were, they would not bring him profit if he failed to entice customers to buy them. Benefiting from their experience in the advertising industry, Lawrence and Marguerite developed a sophisticated marketing campaign that showcased their remarkable new instrument. It was the beginning of a decades-long effort that unfolded in many forms including advertisements in several magazines, promotional booklets, and other marketing strategies.

Questar’s early efforts to solidify a presence in the minds of amateurs and professionals alike was a success. The company drew praise from several quarters of the media and earned customers from wide-ranging walks of life. Professional institutions and individual scientists reached for a Questar as part of a wide variety of projects. The company also indirectly succeeded in popularizing the Maksutov-Cassegrain as a design that amateur telescope builders and commercial manufacturers used as they built their own versions.

Next: § 2.1. Characteristics of Early Questar Telescopes

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Notes

1 Dun and Bradstreet, report for Questar Corporation, March 25, 1958, https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Questar/files/Fred%20K.%20Leisch%20Questar%20/, accessed October 14, 2019.