Nova III and the Nova 100
in 1962 by Albert Faulkner
The pictures (Below) are of Engineer Albert
Faulkner, Designer of the Nova III and Nova 100. Albert was the Head
Technician for the Fels Planetarium in the mid 1940's at the Franklin Institute.
Albert then worked with Armand Spitz in the early days of Spitz Labs designing
auxiliary projectors for the Model A. In the late 1950's he then
moved to Edmond Scientific where he designed several popular astronomy
items sold by the company. In 1961 he was hired by Tom Liversidge
the owner of Harmonic Reed to develop the Nova planetarium.
Al Faulkner working on the Fels
Planetarium Zeiss projector (left). Al with prototype
Nova III (right).
My Nova III Machine
|The Nova III machine was a marvel for its
time. It had all the functions of much larger planetariums at only a fraction
of the cost, around $2000.00 in 1962!
Later versions of the Nova III included
fully automated machines that would do a complete show with a touch of
a button! One could say the Nova III was a thorn in the side of some
other planetarium companies of that time, Nova produced a planetarium that
had many features of larger more expensive machines and sold for a fraction
of the cost! Some 300 of these machines were made. The Nova III was
marketed for college's and high school levels. It was available with either
a 14ft or 20ft dome. Many are still in use today.
All solar system bodies out to Saturn
An early proto-type
Photo by Albert Faulkner
Picture of my Nova 100
|The Nova 100 was designed to sell for around
$600.00 and was meant for grade school level astronomy classes.
The machine has daily motion as well as annual
motion, all motions ran from one motor and an elaborate clutch system.
The Nova 100 was never put into production because it was to complicated
mechanically. Only three proto-types were made.
Projection of 500 Stars
One Inferior Planet and one Superior Planet
Geocentric Earth projectors
Inside the Nova 100
The Two Homes of Nova Planetariums
Pictured below are the two Harmonic Reed
plants. The (top picture) is where the Spitz Jr. and the Nova III
where developed. This building is located in Rosemont, PA.
In 1964 Harmonic Reed then moved to its new location (Botom picture) at
Union Hill in Conshohocken, PA. where the Nova 100 was developed.