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Reception and dissemination of American amateur telescope making in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Johan Kärnfelt
Published in Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 126-135
ISSN 1440-2807
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Pages 126-135
Language en
Keywords Amatörastronomi, Astronomihistoria, Svenska astronomiska sällskapet, Teleskop
Subject categories Astronomy, History of Ideas


This paper discusses the appropriation of the American Amateur Telescope Making (ATM) movement in Sweden in the 1940s and 1950s. A key player was the Swedish Astronomical Society, which in 1943, and inspired by the American example, launched a campaign to raise interest in ATM and disseminate the necessary knowledge amongst potential amateur astronomers. The campaign was successful and in just a few years it quadrupled the number of amateurs with access to telescopes. Swedish amateurs kept on building telescopes through the 1950s, but the activities then stalled with the introduction of cheap mass-market telescopes. The appropriation of ATM in Sweden is an important example of how technical innovations have shaped the course of amateur astronomy.

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