Note: Unitron owned advertisements posted with permission of Unitron, Inc per Peter Indrigo, Senior Vice President, Unitron, reference: email dated 5 Jan 2015

According to Philip Fine, Lawrence Fine’s son, the advertising aspect of the business was another one of Larry’s strengths and he was very involved in this aspect of the business.  He wrote all the copy himself; did paste up boards in their study.  One of the advertisements he remembered and one he still has the printing plate for shows a Greek Goddess looking through a very early telescope.  He also remembered an advertisement that talked about all the catalogs they had laying around, and requested prospective customers to please take them off their hands.  He recalled that Larry’s wife and he and Karen thought it was really corny but soon after they received numerous requests for the catalogs.  I don’t seem to recall that advertisement, but then again may have missed it in my several decade review of Sky and Telescope magazine advertisements.  I do recall the one that pointed out that no one from Chile had requested a catalog and sometime later there was an advertisement in S&T talking about a Model 166 at an observatory in Southern Chile (see October 1962 advertisement below).


October 1951 advertisement (first known magazine ad) showing N-S Model numbers:


February 1952 advertisement showing the Unitron Model numbers for the first time; this occurred after the Unitron brand had been submitted for copyright and was approved for commercial use effective this month/year: 52_02_FirstTrademarkR

April 1952 advertisement introducing the Model 142, 3 inch Equatorial:


United Scientific Company’s first microscope advertisement appeared in Sky and Telescope in October 1952, and featured a complete microscope set and several different microscope models:

May 1953 advertisement introducing the Model 152, 4 inch Equatorial:

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July 1953 introduces the battery-operated illuminator to the tripod eyepiece shelf for the 4 inch Equatorial mount:

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Unitron made wide use of testimonials as indicated by this November 1953 advertisement:


November 1953 was the first time any company used the back cover of Sky and Telescope for a full page advertisement; Unitron was to continue that trend uninterrupted for the next 20 years:

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February 1954 advertisement includes several favorable Boston Observer newspaper articles:

Some additional 1954 testimonials: 

May 1954 advertisement provides details on the Model 114:


June 1954 advertisement describes the Model 155, 4 inch Photo-Equatorial…including the infamous tripod light:


September 1954 advertisement about the size of the 4 inch Unitron:


October 1954 depicts a field of Unitron Model 114’s that have gone through a quality control inspection and are ready to be shipped to waiting customers; advertisement indicates that products once received from manufacturer (presumably Nihon Seiko), were inspected both optically and mechanically prior to being repackaged for shipment:


January 1955 advertisement provides prevue of new items to include the Model 600 series, 6 inch refractor, the Unihex, the Astrocamera’s, and the Weight Driven Clock Drives:

March 1955 advertisement describes the altazimuth mount:


April 1955 advertisement about the results of the Unitron Rotary Eyepiece Selector (Unihex) naming contest:


June 1955 advertisement introduces the Model 166 with the statement “Picture YOURSELF at the controls of this newest UNITRON!”:

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August 1955 advertisement introduces the UNIHEX and the new mount cradle for the 2.4 inch:


November 1955 advertisement introduces a Tri-power eyepiece holder for a 60mm terrestrial telescope: 55_11_TriPower

November 1955 advertisement depicting all the capabilities of the basic 2.4 inch Unitron, included the available Model 220 camera;  according to Philip Fine: “Ha yes – that’s me, little blonde kid on right, with my friend Harvey from across street; my dad set up this shoot in nearby field and likely took the photo.”;

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December 1955 advertisement depicts Santa delivering a Model 160 for Christmas; I have confirmed via telephone interviews with Philip Fine, son of Lawrence and Ellen Fine that the two children in the photo were Philip and his younger sister Karen:


This is the advertisement associated with the glass plate introduced at the beginning of this section; looks like another one of Larry Fine’s creative advertising schemes!:

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April 1956 advertisement introduces a Model 150, 4 inch Altazimuth to the theater in Pipe Dreams:


April 1957 advertisement introduces two new 4 inch models, the 160V and the 166V, as well as several new features and the Astrograph camera:


June 1957 advertisement introduces Robert Strom and the $64,000 question…that of course requires a Model 128 to determine the answer:


In July 1957 Unitron presented the “UNIZOO” in an attempt to “characterize” some of the accessories:

57_07_Zoo1a 57_07_Zoo2a September 1958 advertisement introduces the new Satellite Telescope as part of the Moonwatch program:


April 1959 advertisement describes all the reasons why you shouldn’t buy a Unitron telescope:

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July 1959 advertisement introduces the 5 inch model with a photo comparing it to the 4 inch fixed pier model.  Considering how large the Model’s 160/166 are, by comparison the Model 510 is pretty massive!:

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October 1959 advertisement displays the use of the Duetron on a Unitron 4 inch Model 155:


November 1959 depicts “Johnny” spending time behind the eyepiece of his Unitron Model 114 rather than watching the television:


February 1960 advertisement includes for the first time the 5 inch model with clock drive, astro-camera and ten eyepieces:


A May 1960 advertisement features Bela Hubbard and his observatory.  Mr Hubbard provided a testimonial regarding his 3 inch pedestal mounted equatorial back in April 1954. The observatory houses his Model 166, 4 inch Photo-Equatorial and according to the advertisement he hopes one day to update to a 6 inch model:

The February 1961 advertisement uses a “fan letter” from a high school teacher who inherited a non-Unitron brand, but high quality 4 inch refractor for his class and then purchased Unitron accessories for it:

The March 1961 advertised showcased the Unitron Model 160…highlighting it’s precision components among other things:

This April 1961 advertisement links the German Grimm Fairy Tales to Fraunholer…and shows how refractors (aka: Unitrons) are the scopes for the masses:

The May 1961 advertisement begins with an in-depth discussion of yoga and concludes with a definition of UNITRONOMY:

The Duetron two eyepiece accessory was the topic of a two page advertisement in July 1961:

In October 1961 the “new’ electric drives were announced:

This November 1961 advertisement is introduction to the Unitron line-up of the two 5 inch Models, the tripod mounted Model 510 and the fixed pier mounted Model 530.  I have never found any “formal” introduction of the Model 530:

September 1962 advertisement introduced the 700-Series (740, 750, and 760) Unitrons; Unitron would continue to offer these scopes until November 1966 when they were discontinued:


October 1962 advertisement describing the world’s southernmost observatory and home of a Model 166; plans were to acquire a 6 inch Unitron however to my knowledge that never happened; this advertisement is linked to the April 1955 advertisement:62_10_Chile

July 1966 advertisement introduced the Model 145C, the 3 inch Photo-Equatorial with the electric drive:

October 1966 was the last time the Model 700 series refractors were advertised in Sky and Telescope:

The iconic Unitron Model 140, 75mm, f/16 Altazimuth served as the last full page advertisement in December 1971:


“…to be viewed with the eye of reason and experience”…Sir William Herschel advertisement, July 1974”


January 1975 advertisement introduced the wide-field spotting telescopes, in this case the 80mm:

In November 1975 the advertisement emphasized customer input as a means to proclaim the qualities of the Unitron:

In February 1976, the 4 inch Unitron was the target of interest:

The May 1976 advertisement for the 80mm Spotting Scope was reduced in size and this was just the beginning of the downsized advertisements…and telescopes:

This June 1976 advertisement is the first to mention that Unitron is now a sub-division of Ehrenreich Photo-Optical.  As you recall, Lawrence Fine sold the company to them sometime in 1975:

Celebrating Galileo’s February 15th birthday in April 1977…”Your 2-inch Unitron makes my telescope look like a mailing tube”


In March 1977, the new Model 131-C, 3 Inch Compact Refractor was introduced in a two-page spread:

While you may not think this May 1977 advertisement belongs here, this Meade 4 Inch refractor looks much like the Model 152:

And later in June 1977 better depicting its portability:

“I would have figured it out a lot sooner…” says Copernicus is this August 1977 advertisement:

Certainly not a Unitron advertisement, but this January 1980 advertisement was an enticement for Unitron owners to expand their equipment inventory by mating a Quantum scope on their quality Unitron mounts:

Maybe Unitron was having a “Fire Sale” in April 1980 as this advertisement indicates:

Later in 1980, July and August, the 3 Inch Models were treated to full page advertisements:

September 1984 advertisement with the Star Trek theme; still marketing both the 5 inch and 6 inch models as well as a 4.5 inch and 6 inch Cat:


May 1985 advertisement includes the latest price list with a rebate in celebration of Halley’s Comet:


November 1986 was the last advertisement found that included a listing of telescopes available:

This February 1989 advertisement ran until sometime in the early 1990’s, 1993 I think: 

December 1995 was the last known advertisement showing the Bohemia, New York address:


Because of the recent discussion concerning a possible relationship between Dobbins Instruments and Unitron in the late 1980’s, I added the following two Dobbins Instruments advertisements from 1983 and 1984:



A September 1999 article in Sky and Telescope related the memories of a young astronomy who attended a course on the constellations at the Museum of Natural History in New York that was conducted by RA. Rey, the famous author of the Curious George series of books.  R.A. Rey was the owner of a Unitron telescope that he used for an observing session that followed his lectures:

This October 2007 article about Terry Lovejoy, the Australian “Comet Hunter”, discusses what perked his interest in the field of astronomy.  Included was a 60mm Unitron that his Father had available for him to use:

Updated April 28, 2018