Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dick Wessling : A Tribute To Gifted Hands

When the weekend rolls around I can hardly wait to sit down and crank out a blog for this site I love writing about all things Space but this my friends is a very sad day in that I have to report that Richard Wessling of Pines Optical has suffered a massive stroke. It is one that he will not recover from, in fact he is slipping away as I write this. My heart goes out to all of Dick's family. I am here to celebrate the Man and his gift for pushing glass.

There are few people that could create mirrors for telescopes like Dick Wessling.(pictured on the right) He just had the touch. I have looked through some very fine telescopes with mirrors ground to as fine as 1/ 20 wave or better, all of Wessling origin . If you were an amateur
telescope maker you could always and I do mean always count on Dick for advice.

Dick worked at the 3M Precision Optics plant on the east side of Cincinnati for many years as senior specialist
for analysis and testing. He started making astronomical mirrors as far back as 1965. His uncompromising quality has carried through all these years. In 1991 Dick started the Pines optical company Grinding mirrors for customers all over the world. The greatest compliment can be found when competing Telescope companies would offer the option of installing a Wessling mirror.Dick was a busy man knocking out Glass in his spare time while working still at 3M. The orders started to pile up (what a pleasant problem to have) so he retired from 3M in 2006 to devote his full attention to making superb mirrors.When Dick had a moment or two he helped to clean the Lenses on the Cincinnati Observatory's two big scopes, the 1904 16" Alvan Clark and the 1842 11.25" Merz und Mahler

Some of Dicks accomplishments are as follows:
Ground hundreds of astronomical mirrors
Built from scratch over 25 telescopes
Provided advice, counsel, encouragement and friendship to hundreds of ATM'ers
Recognized on a national level as an outstanding ATM'er
Assistant Coordinator Instruments Section-Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers
Contributed several articles to ATM magazines
President of the Cincinnati Astronomical Association-the Telescope Making Organization
President of the Cincinnati Astronomical Society

I wish someday to have a list of accomplishments. I can only hope to get in the same county of the ballpark with this great man

Until the next time,

Clear skies and great seeing too

Steve T

No comments:

Post a Comment