National Museums Scotland
At National Museums Scotland we care for collections of national and international importance. Our wealth of objects represents everything from Scottish and international archaeology to applied arts and design, from world cultures and social history to science, technology and the natural world. Find out more about our four museums, the National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Flight, National Museum of Rural Life and National War Museum, and explore our collections here.
People throughout history have looked up to the sky for answers: to measure time, mark seasons, and navigate vast oceans. The sky at night inspires with beautiful images, and promises answers to big questions.
Who was James Gregory?
James Gregory was a contemporary of Isaac Newton, both often worked simultaneously on similar projects. Gregory published an innovative design for a ‘reflecting’ telescope in 1663.
Reflecting telescopes in the 18th and 19th centuries
By the end of the 17th century science was enormously popular at all levels of British society. Throughout the 18th and 19th century there was intense competition amongst a number of specialist astronomical instrument makers.
James Short's Reflecting Telescopes
During James Short's 35-year career as a telescope-maker in both Edinburgh and London, he produced about 1360 instruments. Short's telescopes were sold to observatories and customers all over the world.