Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Dollond, Peter

  • M. Eugene RuddEmail author
Reference work entry

BornLondon, England, 24 February 1730 or 1731

DiedKennington, (London), England, 2 July 1820

Peter Dollond was a noted English optician and instrument maker. The eldest son of  John Dollondand Elizabeth Sommelier, he married Ann Phillips. They had two daughters, Louise and Anne.

By the age of 20, Peter Dollond had started in business as an optician, a business his father joined a few years later. After his father’s invention of the achromatic lens, Peter made large numbers of achromatic refracting telescopes of many sizes and designs. He developed a triplet achromatic lens (1765) that also had less spherical aberration. These were the finest telescope objectives available at the time. But because of the difficulty in obtaining good quality flint glass, he was able to make only a few of these in sizes with apertures as large as 4 in. and 5 in, one of which was purchased by the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. Dollond’s instruments were used to observe the transit of Venus during captain...

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Selected References

  1. Barty-King, Hugh (1986). Eyes Right: The Story of Dollond& Aitchison Opticians 1750–1985. London: Quiller Press.Google Scholar
  2. — (1820). “Peter Dollond” Gentleman’s Magazine2: 90–91.Google Scholar
  3. Reed, George (May 1984). “Dollond vs. Hall: Through an Achromatic Lens.” Griffith Observer: 2–11.Google Scholar
  4. Rudd, M. Eugene (1998). “The Dollond Family.” Journal of the Antique Telescope Society, no. 15: 4–10.ADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Sorrenson, Richard J. (1989). “Making a Living Out of Science: John Dollond and the Achromatic Lens.” History of Science Society Schuman Prize Essay.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NebraskaLincolnUSA