CORNING, N.Y. – You could say Marvin Bolt takes the long view.
The science and technology curator at New York's Corning Museum of Glass is on a worldwide quest to track down the oldest telescopes known to man, including those dating to the early 1600s and the days of Galileo.
So far, Bolt's traced more than 1,000 telescopes made before 1750 to collections and museums throughout Europe. That's where the hand-held instruments first opened astronomers' eyes to moons and planets and served as military surveillance tools.
The work is backed by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.
Bolt is surprised at the number of telescopes that have survived. Early telescopes were made from rolled paper covered in leather or fish skin and have delicate glass lenses.