The Novosibirsk Instrument-Making Plant was founded in 1905 to manufacture
artillery sights for the Imperial Russian Army. It made a significant
contribution to equipping the Russian and Soviet armies during the world
Following the Second World War, the factory began to produce an increasing
number of products for the civilian market. The manufacture of astronomical
telescopes began in 1980 under the initiative of the Novosibirsk amateur
astronomer Leonid Sikoruk.
The TAL, a Newtonian reflector
with an aperture of 2.5" (65 mm) intended for beginners, was the first
model to be introduced, and remains in production to this day. In 1984,
production of the more sophisticated 4.3" (110 mm) TAL-1
commenced. This model was intended for more advanced amateurs. The mass
production of these popular telescopes constituted an important milestone
for Russian amateur astronomy, and they have been widely available in
shops throughout Russia ever since.
The disintegration of the USSR brought extremely difficult economic
conditions for the factory. Because military production was greatly
curtailed, the factory was compelled to compete on the world market
of optical devices. In 1993 TAL telescopes began to
be sold abroad, at first in England, then in other countries. Today
Novosibirsk telescopes are well-known around the world and have earned
an outstanding reputation.