Criterion RV-6 Dynascope Advertisement
These image came from an eBay listing sometime around 2010. I do not know who
created them. This is a very well-preserved Criterion RV-6 telescope!
It was while I was in the USAF at Robing AFB, Georgia, that my interest in astronomy
was rekindled and I decided to move from a cheap 2" Tasco refractor to a "real"
telescope that had more light collecting capacity and was on an equatorial mount
with a sidereal drive system. My Air Force pay did not allow for anything as nice
as a Celestron or Meade model, but an advertisement in Astronomy magazine by Criterion
Manufacturing made the goal seem obtainable in the
For a mere $279.95*, I could purchase a 6", f-8 Newtonian telescope with a pillar-type
tripod mount and an equatorial drive. I immediately wrote a check and mailed it
off to the company's location in Connecticut. Then, I waited... and waited... and
waited, but no telescope arrived after more than three months. So, I to Criterion
Manufacturing about the delay and got a response that the RV-6 Dynascopes were on
backorder, but that it should arrive soon. Another couple months passed and still
no telescope. I sent another letter and had no response. I called the listed phone
number and got no answer. Finally, I contacted the Better Business Bureau in Connecticut
and discover they were out of business and in bankruptcy. Thanks to the BBB representative,
though, I was given a good contact number for one Criterion's executives and called
to explain that the company had cashed my check within a month of the time sent,
and that I was just a poor Air Force schmuck who couldn't afford to eat the $200
loss. He promised to send a refund. A couple more months passed without any refund.
I had given up when, almost a year later to the day I wrote the check, a refund
check arrived in the mail. I immediately took it to the bank for deposit before
it could be voided by the company.
So, the story ended better than it might have, but I still didn't have a nice
telescope and there was no equivalent alternative that I knew of at the time. Today,
of course, there are many such options available.
* According to the
BLS Inflation Calculator, the $279.95 price in
1980 is equivalent to $810.76 in 2015 money.
shown is from a few years earlier, hence the lower price.
Posted August 9, 2015