Thomas Cooke 1807-1868
On October 19th 1868 Thomas Cooke died, he was one of the greatest telescope makers of all time.
Thomas Cooke was born on March 8th 1807 into a poor family of shoemakers in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He taught himself and studied mathematics and optics.
He moved to York in 1829 and in 1855 he built one the Uk’s first purpose built telescope making factories, the Buckingham Works.
He made not only telescopes but many other kinds of optical instruments and turret clocks. In 1866 he even built a small number of 3 wheeled steam cars.
Among the telescopes he made was one for HRH Prince Albert and in 1869 the largest telescope in the world at that time, the 25 inch Newall refractor.