The Early Field Model and the “De Luxe Questar”
Gregory Gross

The Early Field Model and the “De Luxe Questar”

During the last half of the 1950s, the way that Questar referenced their telescopes evolved with the company’s product offerings. When the company introduced the Field Model in May 1956, Questar suddenly needed to find a way to refer to its fully-featured telescope. Fortunately, it already had a term waiting in the wings.

Questar’s use of the term De Luxe to refer to what is today known as the Standard Questar first appeared in the December 1955 issue of Sky and Telescope. The company noted that “the DeLuxe Questar, complete with all accessories in handmade English case, is priced at $995.”[1]

Questar advertisement, <em>Sky and Telescope</em>, June 1957
Questar referenced the “De Luxe Questar” and the early version of the Field Model in its June 1957 advertisement in Sky and Telescope. Questar Corporation

Upon introducing the early version of the Field Model in May 1956, Questar wrote that the Field Model “is not just a telephoto lens—it is the standard Questar, the most versatile telescope in the world.” In the same advertisement, Questar referred to the fully-mounted “De Luxe Questar.”[2] From that point until November 1957, the company referenced both the “De Luxe Questar” and the Field Model in each advertisement it ran in Sky and Telescope.

In the December 1957 issue, Questar omitted any reference to the Field Model in its advertising for the first time. In contrast with the quartz-mirrored Questar that the company introduced that month, the company referenced the “standard De Luxe Model.”[3]

The Questar advertisement that appeared in the January 1958 issue of Sky and Telescope repeated the marketing content from two months prior, and a reference to both the “De Luxe Questar” and the Field Model appeared again. That advertisement was also the last time Questar mentioned the availability of the latter.[4]

References to the “De Luxe Questar” persisted nonetheless. The company opened its February 1958 advertisement in Sky and Telescope by noting that “the De Luxe Questar is the finest small telescope in the world.”[5] After omitting its use of the term in its advertisement the next month, the company returned to it in the April 1958 issue.[6] For the next four months, Questar again referred to the “De Luxe Questar” in each of its advertisements in Sky and Telescope. Finally, in September 1958, Questar made its last reference to fully-mounted Questar as the “De Luxe Questar.”[7]

From October 1958 onward, Questar simply called its fully-mounted 3.5-inch telescope as “Questar.” In both that month and April 1959, the company reused two distinct advertisements that first ran in Sky and Telescope in June and May 1957, respectively, but the company removed any references to the Field Model as it had in those earlier issues.[8] Moreover, the October 1958 Questar booklet—a document that would have offered potential buyers a view of the company’s full product offerings—contained references to neither the “De Luxe Questar” nor the Field Model.[9] It seems the company had purged all such references from its promotional materials by that point.

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Notes

1 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1955, 96-97.

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

3 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, December 1957, 91.

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

5 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, February 1958, 186.

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

7 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, September 1958, 591.

8 Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, October 1958, 633; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, April 1959, 345; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, May 1957, 358; Questar Corporation, advertisement, Sky and Telescope, June 1957, 384.

9 Questar Corporation, Questar booklet, October 1958.