Prism Binoculars

This is a brass instrument covered, in large part, with dark leather. The exposed parts have a black japan finish. The objective lenses are 9 mm diameter. The eye end of the left prism housing is marked “Zeiss Stereo Field Glass / PAT. JUNE 22, 97 / Power +8.” That on the right is marked “Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. / ROCHESTER, N.Y.” The top of the center post is marked “7530.” The eyepieces are separately adjustable, as is the inter-ocular distance and the focus overall.
Bausch & Lomb was licensed by Carl Zeiss, Jena, to produce prism binoculars under Ernst Abbe’s various patents, using Schott glass made in Jena.
The central focus, as found in this example, is a feature that Zeiss added sometime after 1900.
Currently not on view
Object Name
patent date
production dates
ca 1900-1920
Zeiss, Carl
Bausch & Lomb Optical Company
Physical Description
aluminum (principal overall material)
brass (crossbars, posts, etc. material)
leather (scope covering material)
glass (lens material)
black (overall color)
painted (overall production method/technique)
closed: 102 cm x 120 cm x 50 cm; 40 5/32 in x 47 1/4 in x 19 11/16 in
overall: 110 mm x 135 mm; 4 5/16 in x 5 5/16 in
place made
United States: New York, Rochester
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
Nicholas Grossman

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