Credit Where Credit is Due
In my world-view, God is the benefactor Who created the entire universe for us to observe and enjoy, as well as the One Who gave me the creative skill and inspiration to develop this technology. For both of these gifts, I am eternally grateful.
However, there are some other "giants" on whose shoulders I stand, and whom I would like to acknowledge as sources of ideas, inspiration, and foundational technology without which I would have had nothing to develop.
Sir Isaac Newton
My friend Gene Cross presented a marvelous paper at RTMC some years ago, detailing a number of Newton's lesser known works. He has very graciously consented to my sharing it with you here. It is titled "Telescope Innovations of Isaac Newton."
My immediate appreciation of Sir Isaac is that my own telescope, "Glory," (so named in response to Psalm 19) is known optically as a "Newtonian," named for Newton who invented that basic configuration.
Prior Art in Equatorial Mounts
There are several varieties of equatorial mounts that have existed for many, in some cases, hundreds of years:
- Coude Mount - "elbowed equatorial"
Here is an interesting article comparing various state of the art drive systems from DFM Engineering.
There are one or two inventors and innovators whose work directly inspired or added to the development of the McCreary Mount. Perhaps the most notable and directly inspirational is Tom Fangrow, inventor of the "Hiss Drive."
- Shown at the 1986 RTMC
- Sky and Telescope Sep. 1985 p 273
- Telescope Making #27 - Spring 1986 p 9
- Unusual Telescopes by Peter L. Manly
Prior Art Discovered "After The Fact"
In my reading and search of the field while preparing to disclose the McCreary Mount publically, I have found other related efforts mentioned in the literature. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, and I welcome any additions that you would care to send to me for future inclusion.
Regiomontanus torquetum c 1470
- See "History of the Telescope" by King, 1955
- The Common Telescope at Harvard
- Mt. Wilson (floated in mercury)
Curved Bolt Drive
- Still has periodic gear error
- "Unusual Telescopes" by Peter L. Manly
Ball and Grove Drive by Jose Sasian
- This one has some eerie similarities to the preferred
implementation of the McCreary Mount, but is not
really directly related. See:
"Unusual Telescopes" by Peter L. Manly
- Employs gravity
- Still mechanical
- "Sky and Telescope" Aug 1979 p 110
Clepsydra (water clock)
- Donald Menzel & Fernando de Romana
- 1972 Solar Eclipse, Canada
- Bicycle Pump w/ water, gravity driven
- Has tangent error
This comes closest to the hydraulic system that I have incorporated into the McCreary Mount, though I had no personal prior knowledge of this when I conceived of my invention.
The oldest examples of water clocks were used only for motive power. They still drove chains and gear trains which were replete with mechanical error.
The McCreary Mount conceptually separates the concepts of "power source" and "drive mechanism," which these historic devices do not.