§ 3.2. Variations on a Theme: Field Model, Duplex, and the Questar Seven
Gregory Gross

§ 3.2. Variations on a Theme: Field Model, Duplex, and the Questar Seven

On This Page

  1. Field Model
  2. Duplex
  3. Questar Seven

Once Lawrence Braymer had established a theme in the form of his Standard Questar—a 3.5-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope that included a dual-arm fork mount—he eventually found ways to create variations on that theme. At an early stage during the company’s first decade of operation, Braymer conceived of two instruments that used the same optical design of his instrument that was already in production but that were different in terms of features, intended applications, or aperture.

Just as he had done with helping to realize Braymer’s vision for a groundbreaking telescope, Questar’s production manager John Schneck played a key role in shepherding the Field Model, the Duplex, and the Questar Seven into production. He had a great talent for taking someone else’s ideas and making them a reality, and he used those skills to help create these variations on a theme.

Field Model

Before Questar introduced a modern version of the Field Model in 1964, the company had already produced an early version that bore the same name but that substantially differed from the later instance.

Early Field Model

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, May 1956
Introduction of the early version of the Field Model in the May 1956 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation via groups.yahoo.com

Just as Lawrence Braymer was beginning to bring the photographic applications of his Questar telescope to the forefront in his advertising in 1956, he also introduced a new instrument that had all the essential features of the telescope that was already in production but that had none of its extra components. “The new Field Model is a featherweight version of Questar without the elegant full polar-equatorial mounting,” Braymer wrote in his advertisement that appeared in the May 1956 issue of Sky and Telescope. Priced at $495, or $500 less than the full product, it made “the famous Questar optical system available for use with any camera tripod and all standard eyepieces.”[1]

Having developed the Field Model at the request of government agencies and amateur photographers who demanded high-power telescopic performance, Questar used the same optics train—a spherically-figured primary mirror and corrector lens—to deliver an apochromatic catadioptric instrument with a high degree of versatility. It had the same specifications as the full model: its nameplate indicated an aperture of 89mm, a focal length of 1077mm, and a focal ratio of f/12.1. One could attach any standard 1 1/4" eyepiece, Barlow lens, or diagonal to the instrument’s rear opening and secure it with the included nylon set screw. Instead of having its own mount, the Field Model featured a two-inch square base on the bottom of its rear aluminum bracket. That base accepted the mounting screws on any standard photographic tripod. It was finished “in genuine Morocco leather at the studios of Albert Oldach & Son of Philadelphia, binders of fine books since 1875.” By itself, it weighed 31 ounces, and its English leather case whose finish matched that of its larger sibling brought the total weight of the entire package to less than three pounds.[2]

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, January 1957
Field Model accessories announcement in the January 1957 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

In January 1957, Questar introduced numerous accessories that enhanced the functionality of the Field Model:

  • Eyepieces: Along with the 40x Koenig eyepiece that came standard with the Field Model, an 80x Erfle eyepiece was also available for $25. They were the same eyepieces that were available with the full Questar.
  • Barlow lens: In 1948, Frank L. Goodwin introduced “a new kind of Barlow lens, the short-focus negative achromat.” Questar had it in stock for $17.50.
  • Star diagonal or erecting Porro prism: For astronomical observing, Questar offered a 90-degree right-side-up but left-to-right-reversed prism star diagonal. Also available was a fully-erecting Porro prism. Upon ordering the Field Model, the customer was to choose one and could opt to obtain the other at an additional cost of $20.
  • Solar filter: The same off-axis solar filter that came with the full Questar telescope also fit the Field Model, and it was available separately for $25.
  • Camera couplings: Considering that the Field Model was, as Braymer called it, “a Big Bertha of telephoto lenses,” Questar offered camera couplings that allow one to connect any suitable 35mm SLR camera to the instrument.[3]

The company also offered a payment plan. Its terms were a $145 down payment with twelve monthly installments of $30.92.[4]

Ultimately, the early version of the Field Model failed to succeed as a product. After production of the Field Model began in 1956, as longtime Questar manager Jim Perkins noted, Questar manufactured only around one hundred units in total. To be sure, company records from this period are known to be problematic. But if this information is correct, the Field Model may have had its strongest period in the first year and a half of its availability with around 65 units being sold to clients in 1956 and 1957. Production shop records show that Questar built fifteen units in 1958, thirteen in 1959, only six in 1960, and none in subsequent years.[5]

What accounts for the early Field Model’s unsuccessfulness on the market? On one hand, the multitude of features, clever design work, and sheer attractiveness that Lawrence Braymer had included with the Standard Questar were altogether absent in the simpler version. Perhaps another explanation for this product’s failure involved its optical quality. Jim Perkins speculated that many early Field Model units could have been the recipients of optics that did not meet Braymer’s high standards for the fully-featured Questar. And perhaps appropriately so: they were typically used either for lower-magnification terrestrial work, which was far less demanding than high-power astronomical applications, or were put to work by industrial or government clients and were often disposed of in short order.[6] Accordingly, Questar may not have been willing to invest a great deal of production effort into an instrument that cost half the amount of the fully-featured model.

Whatever the case may be, the Field Model made its last appearance in Questar’s magazine advertising in the January 1958 issue of Sky and Telescope.[7] By the end of the 1950s, any reference to it in the company’s promotional literature had disappeared.

Modern Field Model

In spite of the early Field Model’s failure to draw robust sales, certain segments of the company’s market—nature observers and photographers in particular—continued to demand an instrument with superior performance but without the Standard Questar’s fork mount.

In its 1968 booklet, Questar reflected on what drove the company to pursue development of an updated Field Model. Modern Photography magazine “persuaded us to develop a Questar model that would be more convenience for the terrestrial photographer to transport, and would be modified to give more complete film coverage, which some photographers felt was essential. This was the New Field Model, which is optically identical in quality to all Questars.” It included the company’s signature control box, but it lacked its own mount and required the use of a sturdy tripod.[8]

Questar advertisement, <em>Natural History</em>, February 1964
Questar’s announcement of Field Model as it appeared in the February 1964 issue of Natural History magazine. Questar Corporation

Clearly targeting a wide breadth of customers who held interests ranging from photography to terrestrial observing and astronomy, Questar made their announcement in the February 1964 issues of publications that reached a good number of those potential buyers. “This is the New Field Model Questar Telescope,” proclaimed the advertisement appearing in Sky and Telescope, Natural History, and Scientific American magazines. Identical to the optical construction of the Standard Questar, the Field Model included a 40x Koenig eyepiece (an 80x Erfle eyepiece was also available as an add-on accessory), an “improved basic camera coupling set,” and a case with foam lining and room for a camera and other accessories.[9]

Questar stressed how the Field Model offered “a new experience to the photographer.” The wide field construction, which Questar also announced in the same advertisement, was of special interest to those with cameras and was included as a standard feature on the new Field Model. With the same low-power finder, Barlow lens, and the ability to shift the image between the eyepiece and an attached camera by means of another finger flick—all features that one found on the Standard Questar—all that remained was for the photographer to place an image on film.[10]

A month after Questar introduced the Field Model, Modern Photography magazine acknowledged its role in developing a new version of what became the modern Field Model. “You are now reading the first words anywhere on the new Questar Field Model telescope specifically designed for photographic use,” the magazine boasted in its March 1964 article reviewing the new telescope. “Modern is proud that is had a small part in bringing the instrument to fruition and delighted to have been able to pre-market test it.” While the full Questar had earned a reputation to be “the tiny Rolls-Royce of astronomical photography,” its “relatively cumbersome clock drive and micrometer controlled fork mount” detracted from its usefulness photographic use. By simplifying the telescope, Questar created a photographic system with a focal length of 1400 to 1600mm.[11]

Although Braymer objected “strenuously to the Questar being called a telephoto lens,” Modern Photography thought it was indeed appropriate to use the term to describe the Field Model. But it agreed with Braymer’s belief that its eyepiece enhanced the experience of using the instrument with a camera. Photographers “will be able to see just how brilliantly sharp the Questar can render a subject. They can then compare it to what they get on film. If it’s less perfect they must blame it on focus, vibration, air turbulence, exposure or lack of proper technique.”[12] The writers at Modern Photography no doubt had read Braymer’s commentary on problems that the telescopic photographer faced.

Beyond its usefulness for photography, Modern Photography also saw the Field Model as a long-distance microscope. One could examine a butterfly’s wings thirty feet away and a dollar bill’s watermarks at twelve feet. One could even mount the eyepiece inside the camera coupling extension tubes set to achieve 9000mm of focal length at f/100, although they did not necessarily recommend this.[13]

Corrector lens cap
Corrector lens cap. Questar Corporation

Questar introduced a variety of other notable accessories with the Field Model. Since it began production in 1954, the company noted its belief that the Standard Questar’s case adequately shielded the instrument and all its exposed optical surfaces from dust and dirt. In an effort to maximize convenience, the user only needed to pull the instrument from its case—it was ready to use the moment it came out. But Questar intended the Field Model for more rugged applications, and its optics needed additional protection. As early as November 1963, the company gave thought to designing a threaded corrector lens dust cap with a metal ring and a Synthane inner disk.[14] It came as a standard accessory with the Field Model. Beginning around 1965, it was also available for separate purchase as an added accessory.[15] Finally in 1969, the company began including a dust cap as a standard accessory with all 3.5-inch instruments including the Standard Questar.[16]

Table tripod in use with the Questar Field Model and Linhof pan head
Table tripod in use with the Questar Field Model and Linhof pan head. Questar Corporation

In 1966, Questar also introduced a table tripod for use with the Field Model and a suitable tripod head. The company promoted its light weight and ease of use in rough terrain or on the trunk lid of one’s car.[17]

And in 1968, Questar announced two additional accessories: an image-erecting Porro prism, an accessory that the company had made available for the earlier version of the Field Model, and the Rowi Shoulder Mount, which was useful for situations where a photographer did not wish to use a tripod.[18]

By the time Questar introduced the Field Model in 1964, the fully-featured Standard Questar with Pyrex mirror still cost $995.[19] Although it represented a more basic version of the company’s telescope offerings, the Field Model did not cost much less. “It’s still not cheap,” the writers at Modern Photography said, “but perfection never is. $795 is the cost of a full outfit.”[20] Additions increase that cost further: an 80x Erfle eyepiece was $35, a Questar-modified Nikon F camera body cost $234.60, and the complete package—the Field Model itself, a Linhof tripod, and a Nikon F camera body—ran $1332.[21]

Since Questar had begun its serial numbering for the early version of the Field Model at 1 and had produced around one hundred units, the company began sequencing the modern Field Model serial numbers at 101. Sales of the new version began in December 1963. By 1967, the company had produced around four hundred units.[22]

If the owner of a Field Model later wished to supplement his or her instrument with many of the Standard Questar’s features, a conversion service was available for $300.[23]

Modern Photography concluded its review of the Field Model in glowing terms. It “performed magnificently” during the month that the magazine put it through its paces. “As we opened the case and raised the Nikon plus Questar to our eyes, the glint of the early morning sun caught the deep metallic violet of the Questar barrel and reflected from the burnished chrome. An early morning passerby couldn’t conceal his intense curiosity. ‘Japanese or German he inquired.’ ‘New Hope, Pennsylvania,’ we said with more than a slight touch of American-made pride.”[24]

Duplex

After Questar introduced the Field Model in early 1964, potential buyers were faced with a decision: invest in a fully-mounted Standard Questar or a completely unmounted Field Model. A conversion option existed, but then the owner lost the flexibility that the Field Model offered.

The Duplex Questar presented buyers with a happy combination: a telescope that included a full fork mount and the ability to detach it for use as a flexible observing and photographic instrument with a separate tripod in the same vein as the Field Model. One could have the best of both worlds with the Duplex, the natural next step for Questar’s offerings.

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, October 1966
Introduction of the Duplex as it appeared in the October 1966 issue of Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

Again using its presence in all three of the main publications it used for advertising, Questar introduced the Duplex in the October 1966 issues of Sky and Telescope, Natural History, and Scientific American magazines. “We keep trying to please Questar customers by finding even more convenient forms for this superfine portable telescope. Our photographer friends wanted an unmounted barrel—a minimum instrument that they could carry easily into the field, and this led to the development of the New Field Model. The astronomers want the fully-mounted equatorial Standard Questar with its smooth controls and built-in synchronous drive. But sometimes they wish they also had the lighter Field Model just to carry with them for terrestrial observation and photography. And even nature photographers have been known suddenly to develop an interest in the night skies and have long then for that convenient equatorial mount.”[25]

In response to this demand, Questar wrote, “here you have it—everything in one instrument—the Duplex Questar. A fully-mounted telescope, it separates into two parts with the turn of a knurled knob.” It took up no more room than the Standard Questar and was as rock steady—perhaps more so because of its heavier collar—as its sibling. When you detached it from its mount, you then had the Field Model.[26]

The Duplex with standard Pyrex mirror was priced at $1245, and a quartz mirror cost $100 more.[27]

Questar Seven

By the end of 1966, Questar offered three models with some important differences but with the same basic optical design and proportions. The Standard Questar, Field Model, and Duplex were all 3.5-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes with an effective focal length and ratio of 50.5 inches at f/14.4. After considering a larger five-inch design, Lawrence Braymer had very deliberately settled upon the smaller size not too long after beginning his design work in the late 1940s.

But no matter how fine an instrument’s optics are, it cannot defeat the laws of physics. An 89mm telescope will gather light only to the extent that its aperture allows. To be sure, it will certainly benefit from the exacting attention of the optician who figures its elements. But a telescope’s ability to resolve an object is most strongly determined by how much light it can gather. In the final analysis, aperture wins.

Lawrence Braymer knew this. Not long after he began production of his 3.5-inch Questar in 1954, he and John Schneck contemplated how to take the basic design of their telescope and enlarge it. Its proportions would certainly be significantly larger than the Standard Questar, its light gathering capability would increase, and its ability to resolve objects would increase, too. But could they overcome its downsides?

Prototype

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, April 1958
In the April 1958 issue of Sky and Telescope, Lawrence Braymer revealed the progress he and his colleagues John Schneck and Ernest Arndt had made with developing what would become the Questar Seven. Questar Corporation

In the April 1958 issue of Sky and Telescope, Braymer and Schneck revealed the progress they had made with exploring possibilities for a seven-inch Questar telescope. Braymer included an image of himself, Schneck, and the company’s master mechanic Ernest Arndt posing around “a high-precision laboratory test frame holding the optics of a new 7-inch Questar.”[28]

Braymer’s plan was to place these optics in a tube eight inches in diameter and sixteen inches in length. Having mastered the production of short, ultra-precise catadioptric telescopes, he sought to take the lessons he learned from building the Standard Questar and use them to create a larger instrument. With four times the light gathering power and twice the resolution as the 3.5-inch model, the seven-inch Questar promised to match the performance of other larger instruments including eight-inch refractors and twelve-inch reflectors. Braymer envisioned a telescope whose focal length varied from seven to 60 feet and whose weight was 40 pounds.[29]

Beyond the increase in light gathering ability, a seven-inch Questar offered other advantages. Braymer addressed “the important matter of internal tube currents. This is our thinking: that no 7-foot open tube or 12-foot closed and baffled tube can be so free of drafts and thermal eddies as our little 16-inch barrel. It will suffer less from inside turbulence, which its smaller aperture will be less affected by external causes of poor seeing.”[30] But Braymer was mute on the question of the extent to which the thick mirror or corrector lens would produce internal currents especially as the scope came to thermal equilibrium in cold conditions.

And then there were the matters of weight and cost. Although it quadrupled light gathering compared with the 3.5-inch Questar, Braymer estimated that the weight of a seven-inch Questar would increase by a factor of eight. Priced at $5000, he reasoned that this would still represent a cost savings of around $20,000 if one compared his proposed seven-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope to the cost of housing an eight-inch refractor.[31] Still, the cost was significant. Only four years prior, the U.S. Census estimated that the median annual household income had been $4200.[32] A seven-inch Questar would have been a possibility only for the wealthiest amateurs or institutions with generous budgets.

Keen to begin production even before completing a final design, Braymer wrote that “deliveries are scheduled for this autumn” and that mounting options were flexible. He encouraged interested buyers to write for more information.[33]

But Braymer’s ambition exceeded his ability to make his plans a reality. Autumn 1958 came and went, and a seven-inch Questar failed to appear. A lack of money to fund development of the larger instrument was one barrier.[34] Perhaps a lack of customer interest was another. Much harder to overcome was Braymer’s declining health.[35] In the end, the company shelved its plans to proceed with the development of a seven-inch Questar. It did so only temporarily.

Production Model

Questar Seven in the September 1967 price catalog
The Questar Seven as it first appeared in the company’s September 1967 price catalog. Note the absence of a control box knob for a Barlow lens. Close scrutiny of the tag on the upper portion of the finder mirror bracket reveals the older “Questar” logo, suggesting this was a prototype built in the early 1960s. Questar Corporation

In spite of difficulties that he and his colleagues encountered, John Schneck continued to pursue a design for a larger telescope.[36] On January 26, 1967, Questar’s optics fabricator (presumably J.R. Cumberland) delivered the first optics set for a seven-inch telescope.[37] Finally in September 1967, the company had made enough progress to make a brief and simple announcement that the Questar Seven was in production and was available on special order.[38]

Over the course of subsequent months, the company slowly offered more details. It wrote in the March 1968 issue of Natural History and Scientific American magazines that the Questar Seven resolved to 0.5 seconds of arc.[39] In its October 1968 price catalog, Questar added that the instrument included a thermally-stable Cer-Vit mirror—at first, there was no option for a somewhat less stable Pyrex mirror—and a control box with a finder system and erecting prism. The earliest examples of the production Questar Seven lacked an internal Barlow lens, a key feature of all versions of the company’s 3.5-inch telescope. The company listed the instrument at a price of $3995.[40]

As it stood at that early point in time, the 23-pound Questar Seven barrel required a heavy-duty tripod, although Questar indicated in its October 1968 price catalog that “a celestial mounting is presently in the design stage and will be available as a separate item.” Until it appeared, the Questar Seven was mostly relegated to terrestrial observing duty and was unable to function as an astronomical instrument unless one could obtain a sufficient mount to carry it.[41]

When the company printed its July 1969 price catalog, Questar revealed it had completed its work on a tabletop fork mount and tripod legs all of which were stored in their own separate case. In the spirit of Lawrence Braymer’s original vision for a highly convenient instrument, the catalog noted that, by separating the mount from the barrel, “the Questar Seven becomes the first telescope of its aperture to be a completely portable observatory.” The company priced the entire outfit—barrel and fork mount—at $5450.[42] The cost represented almost 65% of the $8389 that the median U.S. household brought in as annual income in 1969.[43]

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, September 1969
The company’s full and proper introduction of the Questar Seven. Questar Corporation

Perhaps because of the length of time it needed to resolve production issues, the company held back from making a high-profile introduction of the complete Questar Seven until the August 1969 issue of Sky and Telescope. “Would you believe a telescope with seven inches of aperture could be completely portable? — could be set up wherever you want it in just the length of time it takes to lift barrel and mounting out of two matching cases and join them together with a knurled screw? — could be used on a table top in alt-azimuth form or in polar equatorial position by pushing three legs into place” or on a sturdy tripod? “Here it is, the Questar Seven overshadowing companion of its world-famous predecessor — twice as large and double the performance.” It included many of the same features as its smaller sibling: slow motion controls for azimuth/right ascension and altitude/declination action, an electric drive, a solar filter, and a case. Questar promoted the same photographic applications as it did for its smaller instruments. “Think of focal length that can vary from 9 to 100 feet! What a blast!”[44] Nowhere in the advertisement did the company mention the Questar Seven’s price.

Favorable reactions came in short order. One such review appeared in March 1969 by Terence Dickinson, a 25-year-old member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada who would go on to become an accomplished astronomy writer. He recounted his experience in Toronto comparing the performance of the prototype Questar Seven with his organization’s eight-inch Cassegrain telescope. Their target was Venus high in the mid-afternoon sky. Although the seeing was poor, “the 7 inch Questar during moments of good seeing is probably the best look at Venus this writer has ever had.” It “loomed snow white and crystal clear in the deep blue sky during those seconds of good seeing.” Dickinson concluded that “there is no doubt in this writer’s mind that the Questar 7 inch is the world’s finest portable telescope in virtually all respects.” He also added that “all this does not come cheap,” and he noted the list price for the fully-mounted Questar Seven was over $5000.[45]

In a test report on the Questar Seven that appeared in the August 1971 issue of Modern Photography, the magazine noted that the instrument, which had been in development for many years, was worth the wait. One did pay a price in terms of a significant increase in size and weight over the 3.5-inch field model. “The photographic results from this incredible machine cannot be imagined, however. You must actually see through it or look at the photos to believe what it can do.”[46]

Production shop records indicate that sales for the Questar Seven began in October 1967. Between then and the end of 1970, sales averaged a little more than one unit per month.[47]

Other accessories for the Questar Seven eventually appeared. In March 1970, the company made a full-aperture solar filter available for $550.[48] For astrophotographers, Questar also offered two versions of a declination vernier drive for use in making adjustments that were far more minute and precise than what the built-in slow-motion knob would enable a user to make. Questar first offered a manual vernier drive featuring highly precise gear speed reducers. The company discontinued that model in the mid-1980s.[49] Later, Questar offered a motorized unit that worked in conjunction with the Powerguide II unit.[50]

Questar Seven in Questar’s 1971 price catalog
The Questar Seven as it appeared in the company’s 1971 price catalog. Note the presence of a third control box knob for a built-in Barlow lens and an updated all-caps “QUESTAR” logo on the finder mirror bracket. Questar Corporation

In 1971, Questar loaned Rodger Gordon an example of an early production version of the Questar Seven for the opposition of Mars. He observed that the instrument showed coma that was fairly close to its optical axis.[51]

Perhaps in an attempt to remedy these optical imperfections, the company introduced optical and feature design changes to the Questar Seven in the 1970s. A built-in Barlow lens and an option for a Pyrex primary mirror both appeared in 1971.[52] And in 1976, Questar optical designer Edward K. Kaprelian reworked the optical design of the Questar Seven.[53]

By the end of the 1960s, Questar had implemented numerous important design changes that appeared in an increasing number of products offered by the company. Its marketing also evolved.

Next: § 3.3. Marketing and Sales

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Notes

1 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, May 1956, 327.

2 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, May 1956, 327.

3 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, January 1957, 133.

4 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, January 1957, 133.

5 Questar Corporation, shop sales list (unpublished manuscript, 1958-1970), handwritten; Jim Perkins, email message to author, August 26, 2020.

6 Jim Perkins, email message to author, August 26, 2020.

7 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, January 1958, 132.

8 Questar Corporation, Questar booklet, 1968, 22.

9 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, February 1964, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, February 1964, 65; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, February 1964, 26; “Fantastic Needle Sharp Super Tele for SLR's,” Modern Photography, March 1964, 96, https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/685267-mar-1964-modern-photography-review-of-q35/?p=9876500, accessed December 30, 2019.

10 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, February 1964, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, February 1964, 65; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, February 1964, 26.

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

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

13 “Fantastic Needle Sharp Super Tele for SLR's,” Modern Photography, March 1964, 94, https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/685267-mar-1964-modern-photography-review-of-q35/?p=9798976, accessed November 28, 2019.

14 Jim Perkins, “Questar Serial Number Systems” (unpublished manuscript, August 20, 2020), typescript.

15 Questar Corporation, price catalog, circa 1965.

16 Questar Corporation, price catalog, July 1, 1969.

17 Questar Corporation, price catalog, April 1, 1966.

18 Questar Corporation, price catalog, October 1, 1968.

19 Questar Corporation, price catalog, 1964.

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

21 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, February 1964, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, February 1964, 65; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, February 1964, 26.

22 Questar Corporation, shop sales list (unpublished manuscript, 1958-1970), handwritten; Jim Perkins, email message to author, August 26, 2020.

23 “Fantastic Needle Sharp Super Tele for SLR's,” Modern Photography, March 1964, 96, https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/685267-mar-1964-modern-photography-review-of-q35/?p=9876500, accessed December 30, 2019.

24 “Fantastic Needle Sharp Super Tele for SLR's,” Modern Photography, March 1964, 96, https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/685267-mar-1964-modern-photography-review-of-q35/?p=9876500, accessed December 30, 2019.

25 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1966, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, October 1966, 75; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, October 1966, 48.

26 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1966, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, October 1966, 75; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, October 1966, 48.

27 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1966, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, October 1966, 75; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, October 1966, 48.

28 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, April 1958, 301.

29 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, April 1958, 301.

30 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, April 1958, 301.

31 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, April 1958, 301.

32 “Family Income in the United States: 1954 and 1953,” U.S. Census Bureau, December 1955, https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1955/demo/p60-020.html, accessed January 12, 2021.

33 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, April 1958, 301; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, June 1958, 422. In the earlier advertisement, Questar indicated that “instruments may now be reserved for late ’59 delivery.” But in the latter one, the company corrected its mistake: “Ooops—sorry! In our April advertisement ‘Preview,’ the delivery date of the Questar 7-inch should have read ‘late ‘58’ not ‘late ’59.’”

34 Rodger Gordon to the author, September 23, 2020.

35 “Questar Products Index & Overview Page,” Company Seven, n.d., http://www.company7.com/questar/index.html, accessed July 3, 2019.

36 “Questar Products Index & Overview Page,” Company Seven, n.d., http://www.company7.com/questar/index.html, accessed July 3, 2019.

37 Alt-Telescopes-Questar Majordomo list message, September 15, 1998, digest 258, https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Questar/files/Alt-Telescopes-Questar%20Digests/, accessed October 14, 2019.

38 Questar Corporation, price catalog, September 1, 1967; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, September 1967, inside front cover; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, September 1967, 276.

39 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Natural History, March 1968, 10; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Scientific American, March 1968, 134.

40 Questar Corporation, price catalog, October 1, 1968.

41 Questar Corporation, price catalog, October 1, 1968.

42 Questar Corporation, price catalog, July 1, 1969.

43 “US Median Income by Year,” multpl.com, n.d., https://www.multpl.com/us-median-income/table/by-year, accessed August 14, 2020.

44 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, August 1969, inside front cover.

45 Terence Dickinson, “World’s Finest Portable Telescope,” ‘Scope, vol. 7, no. 2, (March 1969); “Terence Dickinson,” Wikipedia, n.d., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Dickinson, accessed January 26, 2021.

46 “Seven-in. Questar: 2800mm for 2 and 35mm,” Modern Photography, August 1971, 97.

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

48 Questar Corporation, price catalog, March 1, 1970.

49 “Questar Seven Fork Declination Vernier Manual Drive,” Company Seven, n.d., http://www.company7.com/library/questar/q7manualdec.html, accessed September 20, 2019.

50 “Questar Seven Motorized Declination Vernier Drive,” Company Seven, n.d., http://www.company7.com/questar/products/q7pgIIdec.html, accessed September 20, 2019.

51 Rodger Gordon to the author, September 23, 2020.

52 Questar Corporation, price catalog, 1971.

53 Jim Perkins, “Questar Serial Number Systems” (unpublished manuscript, August 20, 2020), typescript.