We at the Louisville Astronomical Society have an opportunity to receive a mirror blank from retired Harvard Professor Dr. James Baker.
Dr. Baker was the first Vice-President of our society in 1934. He is the world's foremost optical engineer, having designed the optics for most of the USA's spy satellites, the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft, and the Polaroid SX-70 SLR camera. He also developed breakthrough optical engineering for R-C telescopes, many of which are still operational in professional observatories today.
We would like to know if there is a market for the blank described in Dr. Baker's own words below. The LAS does not have the facilities to house a telescope that could be constructed from this blank, so we are thinking of selling it.
Dr. Baker's description:
The 25-inch from times past has been diamond edged, faced off, polished
on its nominally flat back surface, beveled, and Blancharized on its front
face to a concave radius of about 466 inches. However, if you were to use it as
a primary for a Cassegrain or Ritchey-Chretien, you would no doubt deepen
this concave to a much shorter radius. The central hole has been core drilled
with about an 8-inch i.d. but not all the way through just yet. In fact,
there is enough thickness left not to complete the core if you prefer a pure
Newtonian of full primary mirror aperture. The blank has the unusual thickness
rato of 1:5 instead of 1:6 and is therefore quite rugged (and heavy). It is
a Schott Duran-50 blank obtained several years before the 23-inch from Schott.
Chairman of the Board
Louisville Astronomical Society