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Boller and Chivens was an American manufacturer of high-quality telescopes and spectrographs headquartered in South Pasadena, California.

Boller and Chivens
IndustryAstronomical telescopes, cameras and other precision instruments
Foundedc. 1946
FounderHarry B. Boller and
Clyde C. Chivens
HeadquartersSouth Pasadena, California, United States (archival site)
The Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera.
The Ruth Crisp Telescope at the Carter Observatory in Wellington, New Zealand, a 41-cm (16-inch) Cassegrain reflector built by Boller and Chivens.



Founded about 1946 by Harry Berthold Boller (1915-1997) and Clyde Cuthbertson Chivens (1915-2008).[1] the company was acquired in 1965 by Perkin-Elmer.[2]

In the 1950s, Boller and Chivens collaborated with Perkin-Elmer to develop and manufacture the large-aperture Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera for the United States Vanguard space satellite program.[3]

In cultureEdit

A 41-cm (16-inch) Boller and Chivens Cassegrain reflector originally housed at the Harvard-Smithsonian Oak Ridge Observatory in Massachusetts is available for public use at the National Air and Space Museum's Public Observatory Project on the National Mall in Washington, DC.[4]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Approximate year of founding is given by Peter Abrahams in a blog posting reproduced at [1]. Harry Boller and Clyde Chivens were engineers with degrees from California Institute of Technology. See Oral History Transcript - Dr. Ira Bowen, August 26, 1969, at [2]. (Chivens was in the Class of 1935. See Clyde Chivens obituary, The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, Ca, March 4, 2008. See also California Institute of Technology, Engineering and Science, "News of Classes," Volume 1:4, March 1938, at [3]. Chivens worked in the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II. See Folder 2.9 containing OSRD report by Chivens in Guide to the Joseph Foladare Papers, 1943-1946 at [4].) Harry Boller and Clyde Chivens were also associated in a firm called High Vacuum Electronics (later called Kilovac, now part of Tyco Electronics), incorporated in California in 1964. See articles of incorporation at [5]. A photo of Chivens (left), Boller (center) and Baker-Nunn camera co-developer Joseph Nunn (right) may be viewed at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2009-12-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). Birth and death dates from Social Security Death Index.
  2. ^ "Perkin-Elmer Buys California Corporation," Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, March 4, 1965, p. 38.
  3. ^ NASA, Vanguard: A History, Chapter 9, "The Tracking Systems" (see note 17).
  4. ^ NASM AirSpace Blog, March 29, 2009. Archived July 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine and NASM Public Observatory Project Archived 2010-02-22 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit