Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

The B&L and Zeiss Connection

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 J. Barnes

J. Barnes

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 165
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2009
  • Loc: Kalispell, Montana

Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:17 PM

  I'm sure most of our seasoned contributors are well versed in the history of these two companies. I was interested in the story of Bausch and Lomb and how their war era binoculars became such treasured collectables. Found this link and was quite surprised to find out that these two companies worked so closely together.

 

 https://www.encyclop...bausch-lomb-inc

 

  If anyone has more to add, please do. 

  Now if I could only find a pair of Mk 41's at a garage sale this weekendrolleyes.gif

 


Edited by J. Barnes, 19 April 2019 - 09:43 PM.

  • Foss likes this

#2 NDfarmer

NDfarmer

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 401
  • Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:32 PM

You may want to correct the spelling in the title, it is Zeiss, just
a friendly prod.

This is an interesting subject.

#3 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3546
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:43 PM

I started at B&L in the summer of 1964, as an apprentice... age seventeen! Left there (for Kodak) sixteen years later, as a ~senior research scientist~ Yes, B&L worked with a lot of other international companies. One big happy family is optics. Here's a rendition of some of the buildings that I worked in, eventually demolished... sigh...    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 56 Bausch & Lomb St Paul St Rochester NY.jpg

  • Cyrano, Foss, terraclarke and 1 other like this

#4 J. Barnes

J. Barnes

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 165
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2009
  • Loc: Kalispell, Montana

Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:51 PM

 I found the mention of B&L stockpiling glass before the war pretty interesting. Certainly worked out well, and we all benefited. I have a pair of B&Ls from 1942, 1962 and 1990 and they are all great. Now I have a deeper appreciation for where they all got their start. Here's another example of their collaboration:

 

https://americanhist...ect/nmah_334162

 

  Also found this B&L magazine from 1941:

 

http://mcnygenealogy...ine-v17-n02.pdf


Edited by J. Barnes, 20 April 2019 - 10:30 AM.

  • 25585 likes this

#5 FrankL

FrankL

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 557
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Posted 20 April 2019 - 01:26 PM

Thank you for the interesting links. I hadn't seen the 1941 Bausch & Lomb magazine before. A few comments:

 

- In 1898 Bausch & Lomb concluded a contract with Zeiss allowing B&L to manufacture Zeiss type binoculars under license. Note that during this time period Zeiss binoculars were unique not because they were prismatic (other makers could and did manufacture prismatic binoculars without infringing any Zeiss patents) but because Zeiss binoculars had objective lenses which were more widely spaced apart than the eyepieces giving the view a stereoscopic effect. And Zeiss had a patent for spacing objective lenses which did not expire until 1908. In addition to Bausch & Lomb  Zeiss licensed only two other manufacturers - Krauss in Paris and Obuchov in St. Petersburg - to make stereoscopic binoculars under their patent although some other companies such as Hensoldt did so infringing the patent.

 

-The National Museum of American History page states, "The central focus, as found in this example [Bausch & Lomb binocular], is a feature that Zeiss added after 1900." This statement should not be understood to mean that the Bausch & Lomb binocular's center focus mechanism was a Zeiss innovation copied by B&L because Zeiss did not introduce center focus models until 1909/1910, and  B&L center focus binoculars which were introduced in 1901 were marketed years before Zeiss ones although other makers at this time, not only B&L, were likewise selling center focus binoculars. Note that in this regard and in some others these early B&L binoculars although built under Zeiss license and resembling the Zeiss Feldstechers are not simply clones of the Zeiss models without any distinguishing features. My own experience with them is that optically they seem equal to comparable Zeiss models (B&L's used Schott glass, after all) but that even though they are certainly well made, comparable Zeiss models are a little more finely built f.ex. Zeiss's use of set screws to secure ocular and objective assemblies. 


Edited by FrankL, 20 April 2019 - 01:26 PM.

  • SMark, Pinac and chief53 like this

#6 FrankL

FrankL

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 557
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:18 PM

Two more interesting aspects of the Bausch & Lomb/Zeiss relationship are:

 

1) The Bausch & Lomb, Zeiss, and Saegmuller "Triple Alliance". The encyclopedia.com link references this in stating, "In 1907 Zeiss bought 20 percent of Bausch & Lomb, granting the company free use of Zeiss patents in the United States. Zeiss, on the other hand, sold to the rest of the world", but the best in-depth explanation I've read about it is here: http://waywiser.fas....omb--saegmuller

 

2) Bausch & Lomb's possible use of Schott glass in the  Mk. 41 7 x 50: Dr. Hans Seeger in his book "Milit√§risch Ferngl√§sser und Fernrohre in Heer, Luftwaffe und Marine" (page 215) offers this revelation (Google translation from German), "A former employee of Bausch & Lomb told Stephen Rohan that special types of glass with a particularly high refractive index were needed to make the B&L 7 x 50 wide-angle glass [i.e. the Navy Mk. 41]. These are said to have been acquired by the company Schott (belonging to the Zeiss Group) during the war via Switzerland". The Google translation seems imperfect to me, and I think the meaning should be that B&L purchased the Schott glass through neutral Switzerland.


Edited by FrankL, 21 April 2019 - 11:22 PM.

  • Grimnir, SMark, Foss and 1 other like this

#7 Gordon Rayner

Gordon Rayner

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3237
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2007

Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:41 PM

Someplace,  I have or had   the complete  optical   parts  list,   focal lengths, glass   types,  radii,  spacings,   etc.  for the Mk. 41

But I have not seen it  for years   .    Has  anyone seen  it,  in the estates  of   acquaintances  RIP,   to whom I may have lent  that information?   I could get another  copy,  a few decades ago,  and yet my  be able  to  do so.    What would such documentation be worth?

 

As previously  mentioned,   I called a few weeks   late,  after B&L  threw in the towel   on   US   binocular production, in the mid/early 1970's.    The  body  dies  for Mk 41,  and much else  , were scrapped  or went  out the door.     I was told   " if you had called me  a few weeks  ago, I would have given the  body dies (molds) to you at no charge.   They   were  scrapped". 

 

Robert E. Hopkins  (RIP),   Univ. of Rochester,    see Mil Handbook  141,   etc.,   told me  at SPIE in the  late   '70's  or early '80's,  that he designed the eyepiece  for the Mk. 41.    His daughter was in a Spanish  night school  class  which I  attended. 

 

Has anyone  seen similar   documentation     re    the Sard   6 x 42,  which has  somewhat better  field correction, in my opinion,  with 6 elements in the eyepiece,  vs. 5  in the B&L   Mk.  41.  


Edited by Gordon Rayner, 06 May 2019 - 12:02 AM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics