3 inch refracting telescope by Smith, Royal Exchange, London, circa 1815. Within original fitted mahogany box containing further lenses and tubes.
Overall length 53.5 inches.
Joseph Smith was born in 1766 and is listed as apprenticed to his father, Richard Smith, by 1780. Richard was a member of the Spectacle Makers Guild.
From 1811, following the death of James Long and the transfer of the lease, Joseph Smith operated an optical business in the Royal Exchange of London; a substantial shopping emporium seen to be successful in its trade. It is interesting to note that in 1805 Joseph took Elizabeth Catlett as his wife. She was the ward of her uncle, John Newton, captain of slave ships until he had an epiphany and became a minister and prominent supporter of the abolition of slavery. Newton lived with the Smiths until his death in 1807.
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