Field Glasses

Frederick William Voigtländer took charge of the family business in 1839 and renamed it Voigtländer & Sohn. The field glasses that he introduced around 1840 were essentially larger and more robust versions of the binocular opera glasses that his father, Johann Friedrich Voigtländer, had been making since 1811, and for which he had received a patent from the Emperor of Austria, Franz I, in 1823.
This example was probably made in the Voigtländer factory in Brauschweig, Germany. The body is aluminum with a black finish. The barrels are covered with black leather. The objective lenses are 46 mm diameter, and the optics are cloudy. The eyecups are marked “VOIGTLÆNDER & SOHN.” The case is dark leather lined with blue silk. The BENJ. PIKE, JR.” inscription in this case indicates that this instrument was sold in the United States.
Currently not on view
Object Name
field glasses
date made
late 19th century
Voightlander & Sohn
overall: 4 3/4 in; 12.065 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Jane and Mary Henle

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