Prisms (2)

Prisms (2)

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After the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, American leaders realized that the best optical instruments came from German shops. Thus, to obtain the spy glasses, binoculars, range finders, and other optical instruments needed by its fighting forces, they commandeered the resources of private optical and instrument shops. And they authorized the establishment of a new optical shop at the Washington Navy Yard. That facility, later termed the Naval Weapons Plant Optical Shop, gave these two right-angled glass prisms to the Smithsonian in 1961.
Currently not on view
Object Name
prisms (2)
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
overall; small: 7/8 in x 1 11/16 in x 1 1/4 in; 2.2225 cm x 4.28625 cm x 3.175 cm
overall; large: 1 1/2 in x 3 1/16 in x 2 3/16 in; 3.81 cm x 7.77875 cm x 5.55625 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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