Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh is shown in a now-famous photograph at the age of 24 with his "homemade" 9-inch Newtonian telescope in this image also shown in Elva R. O'Hara's Clyde W. Tombaugh: Farm Boy Reached for the Stars.
Shown in the photo, the telescope tube is marked with something like
9 INCH AP
79 INCH FOCUS
along the length of the tube, and illegibly with
and some other markings in a different, light-toned printing around the circumference of the tube.
According to the linked article:
Tombaugh was born on Feb. 4, 1906, in Streator, Ill. He might have been a typical farm boy but for his one fascination: astronomy. Through the influence of his father and an uncle, the 12-year-old Tombaugh began observing the night sky. He spent hundreds of hours using a 9-inch telescope bought at Sears and Roebuck, learning to methodically identify stars and constellations as well as to observe the movements of the planets.
But on page 243 of Gary Leonard Cameron Iowa State University 2010 thesis Public skies: telescopes and the popularization of astronomy in the twentieth century it says:
Sears Roebuck had only a few cheap hand-held telescopes for sale in its catalogues from the 1920s to the 1940s. However, by 1961, Sears had a total of nine models of astronomical telescope for sale, all Japanese imports under the Tower label.
Question: So exactly what is the origin of Clyde Tombaugh's 8-inch Newtonian telescope?
Cropped from Elva R. O'Hara's Clyde W. Tombaugh: Farm Boy Reached for the Stars:
The description there says:
Image caption: Clyde W. Tombaugh shared a homemade telescope with his father and uncle. Photo courtesy of NMSU Library Archives and Special Collections
Description here says:
The astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto here shown with his homemade 9-inch telescope. Date: circa 1930