"COLE Maker No 136 FLEET STREET LONDON"
aperture 2.75 inches; length about 5 feet
George Washington used this telescope at Mount Vernon to watch boats on the Potomac River. The U.S. Patent Office transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1883. The signature refers to Benjamin Cole (fl. 1766-1785), a prominent instrument maker and dealer. It has an achromatic objective with the flint element on the outer side, and an erecting eye piece that contains five elements. The wooden tube has ten sides, tapers slightly from the objective lens to the eye piece, and is covered with twine.