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Original Model Leather Case For Questar 3-½ TelescopesAmong the accessory items that were provided with each new Questar 3-1/2 telescope sold from 1954 until the late 1960's.
This has been followed by several alternative designs, and since 1991 by the Deluxe Leather Case.
Background: The Questar telescope has since 1954 been recognized as an elegant and refined practical tool for astronomy: the Rolls-Royce of telescopes. Among the accessories that distinguished the Questar was the custom fitted rigid case provided as a standard accessory with each new astronomical telescope. The Questar telescope slides into the larger portion of the case, while the door interior has pouches sewn in to accommodate those accessories that were provided with the Questar. The case is made in England of two ply stitched Saddle Leather, with the interior fully lined in velvet. The leather is pliable and without any additional interior bracing, yet it is rigid enough to retain its shape and hold the seven pound Questar 3-½ safely in transit.
Right: Questar 3-½ shown both in its Pole Aligned mode, and also stored within its Leather Case (73,788 bytes)
By the Spring of 1968 the stock of this original saddle leather case was depleted as it was replaced by a newly sourced rigid leather case that could accommodate either the Questar Standard or the slightly bulkier Duplex telescopes. This was a hard case consisting of a wood frame with leather covering, with a similar opening front door and latch arrangement to store the accessories. This case was made in the USA for Questar by the Chick Luggage Company of New York. This appealed to the ambitions of Questar's founder Lawrence Braymer and his wife Peggy to make the Questar an entirely "Made in The USA" commodity.
By the late 1970's the Chick Luggage Company went out of business and the leather case was dropped from the product line altogether. Years later, in response to prodding by Company Seven and possibly some at Questar too, Earlene Austin the President of Questar at the time agreed to revisit the idea of a leather case. In 1990 a prototype leather case was made (now in Company Seven's Museum Collection), and in 1991 the Deluxe Leather Case was made available as an upgrade option in place of the standard vinyl case when ordering a new Questar Questar Standard or Duplex astronomical telescope. The Deluxe Leather Case is provided as standard equipment with the limited production Questar 50th Anniversary Model telescope.
Arrangement: The case is designed to hold the Questar telescope with all its standard accessories. The accessories provided with the telescope: Tripod Legs, Solar Filter, Aperture Stop, Spare Eyepiece, AC Power Cord, and two keys for the Latch Locks. These items store in leather pouches that are sewn onto the interior of the door lid. This is illustrated below.
Right: Original Questar Leather Case in Company Seven's Museum Collection (74,161 bytes).
The case is laid out well and is compact, light weight (especially compared to modern Questar cases), and is beautiful. There are some aspects that are unusual:
The door lid is secured by two nickle plated steel spring loaded keyed laches, these are made by Cheney in England. But do keep in mind these locks only serve to keep the honest person honest. Anyone who really wants to get in can handily walk off with the Questar in the case and force these latches to the breaking point.
Since even the carrying case is appreciated by Questar owners, the set was shipped from the factory with not only the leather case but also were provided with a protective fabric cover to protect the case! Early covers resembled a pouch that closed with drawstring closure. While later models featured a more tailored fit for the case with snap fastening flap lid. The materials and colors varied until this accessory was discontinued altogether.
Caveat Emptor: The original case can accommodate the Questar 3-1/2 telescope even with the optional Powerguide upgrade drive control system that was developed in the 1980's. However, installation of the more recent Powerguide II drive control system results in a slight increase of height of the telescope, and this will NOT fit into the original case. If you choose to upgrade a Questar then a newer case must be provided to accommodate the telescope.
Care and Precautions: This is a good grade of real leather and so it is subject to scuffing or rot if handled or stored inappropriately. We do not recommend setting the case in wet ground while observing for example. Some precautions:
Company Seven has serviced Questar 3-½'s fifty years old where their original leather case still appears beautiful and has been well cared for. However, Company Seven recommends those people who will be on the go quite a bit, or store the telescope in high humidity environments, or expose their case to corrosive seashore salt air (near breaking surf), or extended periods in sunlight should opt for the standard vinyl case. We have some customer who want to have the entire Questar experience of a leather case, appealing to their sense of tradition, while also ordering a vinyl case to have it at times when they do not wish to risk damaging their leather case!
Original Leather Case Specifications
Right: case interior arrangement with standard accessories of the period: Solar Filter, Aperture Stop, 40-80X Eyepiece, AC Power Cord (wrapped as provided), Tabletop Tripod Leg set, two keys and a spline wrench in the pouch are not visible here (120,737 bytes).
We invite you to visit our showroom near Washington, D.C. to see a Questar first hand or contact us by E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone 301-953-2000. The showroom is open Monday to Friday 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday 11 am to 5 pm. We are closed on Sundays, on U.S. Holidays, and from 25 December through 1 January inclusive.
Contents Copyright 1954-2007 Questar Corp. and Company Seven, All Rights Reserved