§ 3.3. Marketing and Sales
Gregory Gross

§ 3.3. Marketing and Sales

On This Page

  1. Branding Updates
  2. Marketing Channels
  3. Advertising Themes
  4. Sales

Lawrence Braymer was never content with the current situation. Although his company was clearly on the upward swing, he never stopped looking for opportunities to make improvements. While he made updates to existing products and introduced new ones, Braymer also refreshed Questar’s marketing.

After establishing a consistent presence in Scientific American, Natural History, and, most notably, Sky and Telescope, Questar made subtle but substantial changes to the way in which the company presented itself in its magazine advertising. Other past themes continued, of course. An emphasis on optical precision, quality construction, and versatility were all part of the argument that Questar made for itself in the 1950s. It continued to make these same arguments in subsequent years. But the company also added a touch of elegance and simplicity to their presentation.

The effort that Lawrence and Marguerite Braymer put into their marketing continued to pay off. Sales continued the upward swing they had been on since the late 1950s, and the company succeeded in getting more and more Questar telescopes in the hands of eager buyers.

Branding Updates

Evolution of Questar’s logo between the mid-1950s and 1961
The evolution of Questar’s logo between the mid-1950s and 1961. Questar Corporation

Perhaps the most obvious change was Questar’s updated branding. In the June 1961 issues of Sky and Telescope and Natural History magazines, Questar ran its first advertisement to feature a simplified logo using all capital letters on a black background.[1] The next month, Scientific American saw its first Questar advertisement to use the updated logo.[2]

A few months later, the company settled on a logo that showed the company’s name and location using outlined black typeface against a white background. It first appeared in Questar’s advertising in the September 1961 issue of Sky and Telescope.[3] It continued to appear in advertisements and marketing literature well into the 1990s.

Questar instruction booklet with the old logo under a sticker with the new one
The instruction booklets that Questar included with instruments it delivered during the early to mid-1960s featured a white sticker with the company’s updated logo. Shining a bright light behind the front cover reveals the originally printed logo underneath. Gregory Gross

When Braymer updated his company’s logo by the middle of 1961, he created a problem: what should he do with his stock of existing instruction booklets all of which included the older “Questar” logo? Since they cost money to print, and since their content was still perfectly valid, Braymer opted simply to apply a sticker with the updated logo over the old one. True to form, he wasted nothing.

For the telescopes themselves, Braymer also had a large supply of fork mount side arm badges with the older logo. Since he could not simply update these with a sticker, however, Braymer continued to use his existing stock before transitioning to new badges with the updated logo. Questar telescopes built as late as the spring of 1963 featured these old-style “Questar” badges even though the instruction booklet that accompanied them and marketing literature that promoted them all had the updated logo.[4] The first marketing image that the company produced with a Questar telescope featuring the new logo appeared in the October 1963 issue of Sky and Telescope.[5]

Marketing Channels

Magazine Advertising

Questar printing blocks
Printing blocks for Questar’s marketing literature. Jim Perkins

Consistent with Braymer’s determination to get maximum value out of something, Questar increasingly reran advertising content in the 1960s. While repeated appearances of a distinct advertisement had not been unusual, the company tended to minimize such reuse during the 1950s. But circumstances changed in the 1960s. Questar was running advertisements in more publications, and the Braymers were likely in the happy position of having less time to create new content while they were busy operating a succeeding business. It would have been only natural to see them submit the same advertisement more than a few times. In the 1950s, Questar often ran the same content two or three times; in the 1960s, its average reuse doubled. That trend continued into the 1970s and 1980s.

In addition to reusing its marketing content in Sky and Telescope, Natural History, and Scientific American magazines, Questar began running advertisements in other publications. The company appealed to a broad audience of amateur naturalists by including a handful of promotions in Audubon magazine. Perhaps remembering his article entitled “Wanted: A Tube,” which appeared in the November 1945 issue of Astounding Science Fiction,[6] Braymer published Questar advertisements in Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction magazine, the successor to that earlier publication.[7] And for persuading photographers to use their cameras with a Questar telescope, Modern Photography was a natural choice for adding another front in its marketing campaign.

Questar advertisement, <em>Natural History</em>, March 1964
Questar’s first advertisement printed in color appeared in the March 1964 issue of Natural History. Questar Corporation

In Natural History magazine, Questar occupied the outside back cover three times—the January 1961 and the August-September and November 1962 issues—before using that position a fourth time to print its first full-color advertisement in the March 1964 issue.[8] But after that issue, the company’s advertisements receded into the inside pages of the magazine.

Questar also retained its prominent position on the inside front cover of Sky and Telescope, which the company began to occupy in July 1961, a month after it had updated its logo.[9]

In addition to refreshing its branding, Questar aired out its advertising content. During the early 1960s, the company transitioned to the use of large images covering the majority of its full-page advertisements. Accompanying those images were more succinct blocks of text that were often printed using a larger typeface. It was a departure from the extended blocks of advertising copy that was rendered in small typeface across most of the page.

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, October 1960
Questar aired out the density of its advertising in the October 1960 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

The earliest instances of this advertisement style appeared in the October, November, and December 1960 issues of Sky and Telescope. Relying less upon a lengthy exposition that detailed all the virtues of his product, Lawrence Braymer chose instead to allow a large photograph of his beautiful telescope do most of the talking for him. Withdrawing himself from the discussion, he highlighted a testimonial from one of his owners instead. Before committing them to paper, Julia Wightman had been mentally writing her thoughts for days. “Questar is an instrument of such jewellike quality that I fail to find words to express my feelings adequately,” she wrote. A pleasure to use right out of its case, it represented a leap out of the Stone Age and was “way ahead of its time.”[10]

Questar Booklets and Price Catalogs

Questar’s 1964 booklet and price catalog
The covers of Questar’s 1964 booklet and price catalog. Questar Corporation

In July 1964, Braymer published an updated version of the Questar booklet. Most of its copy had already appeared in the 1958 edition.[11] What he added was “a long essay on what we have learned about telescopic photography in 10 years.”[12] It was an appropriate addition considering that Questar had recently announced the wide field construction, an enhancement of interest mainly to photographers. Eight of the 1964 Questar booklet’s forty pages were also printed in color and featured numerous wildlife images by Questar owners.

Braymer also moved his price list out of the back pages of the Questar booklet and into its own separate leaflet. First appearing in May 1964, it was to serve “as an up-to-date price list thereafter, and a place to announce new products or price changes. We shall reprint this leaflet as often as necessary to keep abreast of progress.”[13]

Advertising Themes

Following the overall evolution of the company’s product offerings in the 1960s, Questar refined many of the themes that had first appeared in its advertising during the prior decade. Of course, the company used its advertising to announce new products and design refinements in the same way it had done before. Other themes that arose during Questar’s early years—its emphasis on optical and mechanical quality, convenience, and versatility—also continued to play a prominent role in the company’s advertisements in the 1960s. But Questar largely set aside mentioning its place in the history of telescopes, a theme that Lawrence Braymer was preoccupied with in the 1950s.

Perfectionism and Quality

The most conspicuous of argument the company made was perhaps the most natural one: the optical and mechanical precision of its telescope.

Optics

Questar advertisement, <em>Natural History</em>, June-July 1965
Questar boasted about the quality of its optics in the June-July 1965 issue of Natural History magazine. Questar Corporation

Although it never mentioned the role that J.R. Cumberland played, Questar proudly boasted about the painstaking effort that went into its optics. The advertisement it ran in the May 1965 issue of Natural History and Scientific American magazines serves as one example. “Each Questar is a labor of love,” the company pronounced to its reader. “There are less than 3000 of them throughout the world today. We make only a few hundred each year, and offer for sale only those whose optical quality has been verified as superfine by testing on real stars at night.” Each one of Questar’s instruments was “a triumph of the optician’s art, no matter how long this takes, or how many attempts do not succeed. No lens or mirror is interchangeable; each set is matched by selection and then ‘married’ by aspheric hand-retouching.” The advertisement concluded with a thought about Questar’s fixation on perfection. “The old saying that ‘trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle’ seems very true to us who find ourselves every day in the trifle business. Only when we get each trifle just right can we send another beautiful little Questar into the world with pride and satisfaction.”[14]

Lawrence Braymer insisted on this level of perfection at the cost of a high rejection rate. Having gotten into the habit of culling out inferior optics sets during his first years working with Cave Optical Company, he continued the practice even after J.R. Cumberland took over optical production. Throughout its advertising in the 1960s, Questar put significantly higher emphasis on the number of optics sets it rejected as a way to communicate to potential buyers that the telescope that would arrive at one’s doorstep was the very best it could be. In doing so, the company turned a cost into an effective marketing tool.

Rejecting the Rayleigh and Dawes criteria that called for a 3.5-inch aperture to deliver 1.4 and 1.3 arcseconds of resolution, Questar declared in August 1962 that it had higher standards: each of its telescopes must resolve one arcsecond or better. In 1961, the company claimed that it tested 326 instruments and rejected 168 of them. “This would be a mighty poor way to run a railroad, but it is the only way we know to make Questars, which skill and sweat and patience without end. It may explain why Questar stands alone, for no one else seems to attempt the superfine high-power compound telescope.”[15]

In the August 1963 issue of Sky and Telescope, Questar engaged in a lengthy discussion of its insistence upon high optical quality and its increasingly unforgiving rejection rate. The company now claimed that it allowed only one out of every three telescopes it produced to be shipped to its customers. Using language that bordered on the absurd, it wrote that “two ‘perfect’ optical systems get rejected precisely because they are only perfect.” Questar’s opticians delivered “only those sets of optics that they cannot improve upon. But the figure of Questar optics has to be so exquisite that it defies measurement indoors.” Consequentially, the ultimate test involved “real stars in the night sky” under realistic conditions “in the gently falling temperatures of evenings out of doors, where our most exacting clients will work.” Inconsequential blemishes in the form of “tiny beauty defects are inevitable upon superfine surfaces which have been painstakingly worked, reworked and aspherically retouched with many figuring tools.” With tolerances of plus or minus five ten-thousandths of an inch, “it is mighty easy to get a front lens half a hair too thin. Then the optician has to throw his hard-won curvatures into the scrap barrel.” In the end, “we have learned that someone always has to care very much. Our greatest satisfaction comes from realizing that we have produced a unique little tool of great virtue, which scientists, engineers, educators, and just ordinary folks find very useful and rewarding.”[16]

Questar sustained this argument throughout the 1960s, and it did so effectively. In its review of the Field Model, Modern Photography highlighted Questar’s optical quality. The magazine’s writers pointed out that the company’s instruments displayed no field curvature, coma, or astigmatism and that they exceeded the Dawes limit. One achieved this simply by setting out to make the best instrument possible, discarding more optics sets than were used, and deciding that price was no object.[17] Questar could not have hoped for a better assessment.

Machining

The mechanical construction of the Questar telescope matched its optical quality. To communicate this to his potential buyers, Lawrence Braymer conceived of a new and enduring visual image: the cutaway Questar.

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, December 1963
The cutaway Questar first appeared in the December 1963 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

First appearing in Sky and Telescope in December 1963, the company trumpeted its virtues. “This is Questar,” the advertisement proudly declared, “the first modern 20th century telescope. Mark it well, for it has made history. It weighs but 7 pounds, and each Questar resolves finer detail than either theory or practice predict for its 3.5-inch aperture. Never mind what we say: the photographs Questars take record their powers of resolution for everyone to see.”[18]

The advertisement’s copy proceeded to enumerate the instrument’s internal features in detail. The “thin-edge perforate mirror,” which itself “does away with much useless glass because it is held only by its central hold without metallic contact,” is “mounted on a long sliding thimble that slips along the central light baffle tube.” Inside the baffle tube are “19 internal knife-edge stops which line the tubes to catch internal low-light reflections that no paint alone can stop.”[19]

Side view of the cutaway Questar
Side view of the cutaway Questar. Questar Corporation

The mechanics of Questar’s slow motion controls demonstrated equal cleverness. “Does your telescope have a driving wheel whose diameter is half the length of its tube? Ours does, and it shows plainly here in the cutaway base.” Above the driving wheel appeared three stainless steel disks which were a part of the gearless slow motion drive system. The manufacture of this part of Questar’s construction alone took five years to learn.[20] By virtue of what the cutaway Questar revealed, one could plainly see all of these features.

After serving its purpose in countless pieces of marketing literature, the cutaway Questar itself developed somewhat of a story of its own. By 1971, it found itself in the permanent collection at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Lawrence Braymer’s home city.[21] The organization was founded by businessman Max Adler in 1930,[22] too late for Braymer to enjoy during his childhood. But perhaps it found enough of a special place in the heart of Questar’s founder for him to donate the cutaway Questar to it.

Later, the Adler Planetarium loaned it to the Cernan Earth and Space Center at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, outside of Chicago. It has been there as a part of the institution’s telescopes display since the late 1980s or early 1990s.[23]

Convenience with Elegance

Another compelling and enduring theme linked the convenience of the Questar telescope with a sense of classical elegance.

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, December 1962
“Behold the Parthenon, the only perfect building erected by man,” as Lawrence Braymer quoted from Thomas Craven’s Pocket Book of Greek Art in the Questar advertisement appearing in the December 1962 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

Having taken a Questar telescope with him for the journey, Braymer conceived of this theme during a trip to Greece at the end of 1961.[24] “On our first day in Athens,” he later recalled, “we climbed the Hill of Philopappas and turned our Questar on the Acropolis across the valley, searching out those architectural triumphs that have survived the centuries.”[25] He used his telescope to photograph its details from almost 2000 feet away. “Behold the Parthenon, the only perfect building erected by man,” wrote Thomas Craven in his Pocket Book of Greek Art. Braymer quoted Craven’s book, which he perhaps had in his own pocket during his visit. But as a formally educated artist, Braymer would not have needed to be told of the significance of what he saw. For the June 1962 issues of Sky and Telescope and Natural History, Braymer created an advertisement in which he spoke about is experience in Greece. The Parthenon “took sixteen years to build,” he marveled. Twenty-four centuries later, it “serves to remind us what men who strive for absolute perfection can accomplish.” Likening the Questar telescope to the perfection of classical architecture, he wrote that “these last sixteen years we too have striven for perfection.” Using the vocabulary of an artist, Braymer concluded that “no amount of human effort can substantially improve any one of these masterpieces of the optician’s art.”[26]

The visit to Greece must have been a powerful one for him. Back in New Hope, Braymer further developed the theme of classical perfection and elegance. He hired a model to pose with a Questar telescope and included images of her in numerous magazine advertisements and other pieces of marketing literature for years. Questar’s Greek goddess was born.

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, June 1963
The famous Greek goddess as she appeared in the June 1963 inside front cover of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

After the company included smaller photographs of her in earlier advertisements, she appeared in a striking full-page image for the first time in the March 1963 issue of Sky and Telescope. With a Questar balanced on the palm of raised right hand and its English saddle leather case grasped in the other, the advertisement offered minimal copy. “Our Goddess holds this 6.7-pound Questar to remind us of its very light weight and delightful portability.”[27]

More advertisements with Questar’s Greek goddess appeared. “As you can see,” read the company’s advertisement in the April 1963 issue of Natural History, “the observer can now sit, relaxed in luxurious comfort, facing the southern sky, while the electrically driven Questar follows a chosen object hour after hour.” Seated and unfatigued, she could observe better as a result. Without having to handle or store heavy and bulky equipment, “we can take the elegant little jewel with us wherever we go.”[28]

The company even extended the metaphor of the Greek goddess to promote how fast a Questar could be delivered to buyers. “A Questar can be on its way to you the day you decide you want one,” the company suggested in August 1968. “So you wake up one morning with your mind made up, you wire us the money, and your Questar is on its way that same day. If you have it sent by air, you’ll have it the following day. We don’t know how we could give you faster service short of having the Greek goddess on our catalog levitate with it right to your door. As you may have noticed, its 12 pounds with case present no carrying problem for her.”[29]

Versatility

Questar made use of other striking visualizations that demonstrated not only the resolving power of its telescopes but also its versatility as an instrument which could be used for a wide range of purposes. It was a theme that had appeared in Questar’s earlier marketing, but it emerged again in the 1960s with a fresh look.

Naturalist and Field Applications

Naturalist and terrestrial observing applications gained far more prevalence in Questar’s advertising during this era. The company explicitly targeted naturalists especially in those advertisements that ran exclusively in Natural History magazine. One such promotion appeared there in January 1961. “The naturalist will find that Questar is designed for him to use from almost any surface. It is always ready for him to scan the view precisely with complete control and multiple powers. There is nothing like it in the whole world.”[30]

Questar advertisement, <em>Natural History</em>, August-September 1963
Questar highlighted nature observing in an advertisement the company ran in the August-September 1963 issue of Natural History. Questar Corporation

Another advertisement emphasized what the nature enthusiast could do with a Questar even in a backyard. “Questar is the beautiful little telescope for your porch or garden table that will bring the distant world to you as nothing else can.” The copy invited the reader to imagine a hawk landing a thousand feet away. It appears so close “you almost recoil from his nearness.” Wildlife that may have gone unnoticed before suddenly becomes sharply real. “Let us now enter a whole new world that Questar opens up in its role as long-distance microscope, a world that no one else has ever seen.” Sit in your garden and observe what lives around you. Grass, moss, insects, and more all burst with life. “You must see this with your own eyes, this world, before you quite believe it.”[31]

Questar advertisement, <em>Scientific American</em>, August 1964
Questar included the sprocket holes of a 35mm negative to demonstrate the sharp resolution of the kind of nature photography that was possible with a Questar telescope in this advertisement which appeared in the August 1964 issue of Scientific American. Questar Corporation

If seeing was believing, then the best way Questar could have demonstrated this was by including photographs of what one could observe in its telescopes. By showing a pair of images—one showing a closeup view of wildlife or a terrestrial scene and another showing wider perspective—Questar formulated another visualization technique it used for years.

In these advertisements, Questar often made clear appeals to photographers in particular. In the August 1964 issue of Scientific American, the company depicted a water turkey perched in a tree. “We included the sprocket holes of this 35-mm. negative for clarity. Beautiful 11x14 enlargements are practically grainless.” Questar’s telescopes help deliver “sharp wildlife photographs like this without tents or towers or stalking blinds.”[32]

Another image that appeared frequently in the company’s advertising was a closeup photograph of a young screech owl. It was still another demonstration of Questar’s resolution. “This little screech owl is really no larger than a baby chick. See how cleverly he makes himself look huge and fearsome by folding his wings in front of him. We print it here to remind you that the superb 7-pound Questar is the most versatile telescope in the world.... There is simply nothing like it.”[33]

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, March 1962
Questar’s advertisement in the March 1962 issue of Sky and Telescope featured a striking closeup image of a screech owl. Questar Corporation

With a touch of humor, the company also suggested that its telescopes could protect its user from dangerous animals. In its November 1965 advertisement in Natural History and Scientific American, the company included the provocative yet amusing headline “Questar Keeps You Safe from Alligators.” Underneath was a detailed photograph of the eye of a menacing alligator. “They may be tame as pussycats for all we know, but we prefer them at a goodly distance. If you too are prudent or just want to remain distant to avoid frightening timid animals, Questar will reach out for you and get fine closeup pictures, like this one, sharper pictures than a telephoto lens can produce.” The copy emphasized that “the image our splendid little artifact delivers is not only beautiful, but often thrilling to behold.”[34]

Lunar Observing

While the Questar telescope could “bring you to an enchanting new microscopic world of near things,”[35] it could take you to distant worlds, too. Its long focal length and its compact design made it well suited for lunar observing. Again letting striking imagery doing the talking for him, Lawrence Braymer included a large and detailed photograph of the Moon in his advertisement that appeared in Sky and Telescope and Natural History in October 1961.[36] It was representative of the many other lunar-themed advertisements that Questar ran in subsequent years.

Solar Observing and Solar Eclipse Chasing

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, March 1960
Questar’s first advertisement that specifically featured solar eclipse chasing appeared in the February and March 1960 issues of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

The convenience, versatility, and portability of the Questar telescope also made it an ideal instrument to bring along on a solar eclipse chase. In February 1960, the company published its first advertisement that was centered on the theme of using a Questar telescope to witness a total solar eclipse. It told the story of Dumont Rush, an American who worked in Belgium and who travelled to the Canary Islands for the event on October 2, 1959. Mounting his Questar on an oil drum using its included tabletop tripod legs, Rush complained that his exposures were far too fast and that he succeeded in getting one well exposed photograph, albeit out of focus. But in general, Rush commented how much of a delight it was to use his Questar to see the event unfold.[37]

The company did not miss future opportunities to tie its product with solar eclipses. For the event on February 5, 1962, Questar relayed an account by John Firor, who was Director of the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado.[38] Later in 1968, Firor became director of the National Center of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, where he became one of the first scientists to link climate change to human activity. More generally, he explored humanity’s effect on the natural environment at a time when few made such connections.[39]

George Kocher with his Questar
George Kocher with his Questar on an airborne expedition to see the total solar eclipse of July 1963. National Geographic via tinyurl.gale.com

Countless Questar owners used their telescopes during the solar eclipse of July 20, 1963. Along with several references that the company made to this event in its advertising, an article in the November 1963 issue of National Geographic told the story of what was for the time an unusual way to observe the event. In his article entitled “The Solar Eclipse from a Jet,” Wolfgang B. Klemperer described a joint expedition by the magazine and the Douglas Aircraft Company. Both organizations turned a modified DC-8 passenger jet borrowed from Delta Air Lines into an aerial observatory laden with scientific equipment. Flying over northern Canada during the eclipse, a number of scientists made observations from the heights of the stratosphere. In addition to Mercury Program astronaut Scott Carpenter, one such individual was Rand Corporation researcher George Kocher, who was depicted using his Questar to see the event unfold.[40] The following year, Kocher went on to publish the results of the experiments that he conducted on the flight in his paper entitled “Eclipse Observations from a Jet Aircraft.”[41]

Kocher’s Questar went on to see a lot of action. In 1972, when he sent his instrument in for service, he included a letter in which he commented how remarkable it was that his Questar had remained in serviceable condition even after use and abuse by dozens of people. It was testament to the instrument’s durability and ruggedness.[42]

The Advantages of Small Aperture

Lawrence Braymer continued to highlight the way in which Questar’s small aperture enabled it to cope with the effects of poor seeing better than larger telescopes. Especially where photography was concerned, he wrote in his 1964 Questar booklet that “you may see for yourself the amazing high efficiency of a superfine small aperture, and by comparing the pictures with similar ones taken by great instruments, become aware of the cruel crippling laid upon all larger apertures by indifferent or poor seeing.”[43] The prose was Braymer’s at its most vivid.

Another of the many instances of this argument emerged in the company’s advertising in February 1965. Coupled with its “unusual ability to resolve,” Questar’s small aperture “allows these little fellows to pierce indifferent seeing like a thin rapier when larger apertures are more severely damaged by heat waves in the air. This is the Questar idea, the Questar secret.”[44]

Testimonials

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, September 1962
Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Moler’s testimonial as it appeared in the September 1962 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

In somewhat of a departure from his earlier practices, Lawrence Braymer allowed the accounts of his clients to take center stage in his advertisements. Julia Wightman struggled with words to express how much she enjoyed her telescope.[45] Joseph Synow wrote, “I have enjoyed my Questar beyond words of expression and believe that dollar for dollar it is the best investment I have ever made.” Another buyer may fall for other telescopes that include “a lot of useless and impotent accessories,” but he will soon become unhappy. “Later if he is fortunate enough to peek through a Questar, his misery is compounded because he realizes he has missed a good bet.”[46] And Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Moler wrote about their ability to resolve double stars separated by only 0.6 arcseconds.[47] Questar highlighted many other owner testimonials like these.

Sales

The marketing that Lawrence and Marguerite Braymer formulated clearly worked. Building on their earlier success during Questar’s earliest years, they increased sales even more. Between 1963 and 1969, as production shop records indicate, shipments rose on average by 10% from one year to the next. After the company introduced the Field Model in 1964, sales of the new instrument cut into those for Standard Questars. But on the whole, the company increased production of both models from 349 units in 1963 to 596 units in 1969. Probably due to its very high cost, annual sales of the Questar Seven averaged only 16 units between 1968 and 1970.[48]

Questar continued its earlier practice by operating as the sole party who sold its telescopes. In August 1962, the company pointed out that “Questar is made and shipped by mail to all parts of the world from this address, at one net factory wholesale price to all. We are sorry, but no dealer inquires can be answered, for there are no dealers, and no sales commissions.”[49]

As in earlier years, Questar’s telescopes became the property of individuals both famous and not. The company’s instruments brought countless individuals on the ground closer to the unfolding of the Space Age. Those onboard rocket-propelled spacecraft made use of them, too.

Next: § 3.4. Adoption and Influence

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Notes

1 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, June 1961, 347; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, June-July 1961, inside front cover.

2 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, July 1961, 68.

3 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, September 1961, inside front cover.

4 As of February 3, 2021, the last Questar known to the author to have the early “Questar” red and white side arm logo badge is #3-1623, built on March 25, 1963 (“1963 Questar Standard - REDUCED,” Astromart, July 26, 2017, https://astromart.com/classifieds/astromart-classifieds/telescope-catadioptric/show/1963-questar-standard-reduced, accessed February 3, 2021).

5 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1963, inside front cover.

6 Lawrence Braymer, “Wanted: A Tube,” Astounding Science Fiction, November 1945, 101-110, 123-126.

7Analog Science Fiction and Fact,” Wikipedia, n.d., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_Science_Fiction_and_Fact, accessed December 9, 2021.

8 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, January 1961, outside back cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, August-September 1962, outside back cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, November 1962, outside back cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, March 1964, outside back cover.

9 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, July 1961, inside front cover.

10 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1960, 226.

11 Questar Corporation, Questar booklet, July 1964; Questar Corporation, Questar booklet, October 1958.

12 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, August 1964, 39.

13 Questar Corporation, price catalog, 1964.

14 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, May 1965, 62; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, May 1965, 150.

15 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, August 1962, 58.

16 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, August 1963, inside front cover.

17 “Fantastic Needle Sharp Super Tele for SLR's,” Modern Photography, March 1964, 58, 60, https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/685267-mar-1964-modern-photography-review-of-q35/?p=9798976, accessed November 28, 2019.

18 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1963, inside front cover.

19 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1963, inside front cover.

20 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1963, inside front cover.

21 Questar Corporation, “On the Problem of Choosing a Telescope,” 1973.

22 “Adler Planetarium,” Wikipedia, n.d., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adler_Planetarium, accessed January 17, 2021.

23 Darren Drake, online forum posting, Cloudy Nights, December 2, 2012, https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/398729-inside-questar/?p=5107034, accessed August 12, 2019; “Eugene Cernan,” HistoryTravel, n.d., https://historytravel-us.com/eugene_cernan.htm, accessed June 26, 2020.

24 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, June 1962, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, June-July 1962, 3.

25 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, May 1968, 23; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, May 1968, 112.

26 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, June 1962, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, June-July 1962, 3.

27 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, March 1963, inside front cover.

28 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, April 1963, 9.

29 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, August 1968, inside front cover.

30 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, January 1961, outside back cover.

31 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, August-September 1963, 64.

32 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, August 1964, 39.

33 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, March 1962, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, March 1962, inside front cover.

34 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, November 1965, 16; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, November 1965, 81.

35 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, October 1963, 80.

36 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1961, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, October 1961, inside front cover.

37 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, February 1960, 238.

38 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1964, inside front cover.

39 Alison J. Peterson, “John Firor, 80, Early Voice on Environment, Is Dead,” New York Times, November 12, 2007, A19, https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/us/12firor.html, accessed April 22, 2020.

40 Wolfgang B. Klemperer, “The Solar Eclipse From a Jet,” National Geographic, November 1963, 784-796.

41 “Eclipse Observations from a Jet Aircraft,” Rand Corporation, n.d., https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/RM4226.html, accessed August 5, 2020.

42 Questar Corporation, Questar booklet, 1972, 30.

43 Questar Corporation, Questar booklet, July 1964, 3.

44 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, February 1965, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, February 1965, 61; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, February 1965, 85.

45 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1960, 226.

46 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1960, 381.

47 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, September 1961, inside front cover.

48 Questar Corporation, shop sales list (unpublished manuscript, 1958-1970), handwritten.

49 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, August 1962, 58.