No 9 Mk III Telescope Storage Case

Unit Fortress and coastal artillery units
Place Oceania: Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Mount Stromlo
Accession Number REL33897.002
Collection type Technology
Object type Optical equipment
Physical description Leather, Metal, Wood
Maker CSO
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Mount Stromlo
Date made 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

No 9 Mk III Telescope storage case made from wood. The case is painted olive drab and features screwed metal hinges on the opening lid and two leather carry straps. Marked on the lid is 'TELESCOPE SIGHTING NO 9 MARK III. OBSERVATORY CANBERRA 1942 D (BROAD ARROW) D NO 89.' Internally the box is layed out to accommodate the telescope REL33897.001.

History / Summary

No 9 Mark III telescope transportation box used by Australian Army and Navy heavy long range artillery units during the Second World War for telescope storage. Telescopic sighting instruments were used by long range heavy artillery units of the Australian Army and Navy during the Second World War for coastal defence installations.

This box held a telescope (REL33897.001) manufactured at the Commonwealth Solar Observatory (CSO) on Mount Stromlo, Canberra. A small observatory was established on Mount Stromlo in 1911, becoming the CSO in 1924. In July 1940, at the suggestion of the observatory's director Dr Richard Woolley, the observatory ceased almost all peacetime activities and devoted its resources to making optical munitions.

The Munitions Annexe made prisms and optical lenses, and all the grinding and polishing machines used were designed in the observatory and made either in its own workshop or in a workshop in Canberra. By the end of the war, the observatory ranked alongside the University of Melbourne as a centre for pioneering optical techniques and for disseminating them into industry.