The Lohmann Brothers

As a child I knew these men and lived in the same block that their shop was located.

By David Nilsen

If you were to ask Greenville, Ohio, residents to name the most famous and accomplished individuals to ever call our town home, you would most likely be given the names of sharpshooter Annie Oakley, journalist Lowell Thomas, and perhaps naval airship captain Zachary Lansdowne. A modern sports fan might even list retired NFL player Matt Light. Few Greenville residents would realize they were ignoring a group of brothers who were among the most respected in their field during their prime. Few Greenville residents have ever heard of the Lohmann brothers and their finely crafted telescopes.

Brothers David (“Din”), Robert, Edwin, and Herschel got started in the science and craft of making telescopes as amateurs in the late 1800s–they wanted to look at the stars and the planets and moons of our solar system, so they put their skills gained in their father’s machine shop to use and began grinding their…

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