Ben Pike’s Sons U.S. Long 12×34 Naval Binoculars. Early 20th Century. RARE.



Here we have a superbly preserved set of US Navy long binoculars. They are approximately 12x magnification with 1 23/64″ diameter objective lenses. These binoculars employ an erecting lens which means that that, quite than a Galilean system, the system is Copernican like a modern binocular, but employs a lens quite than a prism system to effect the erecting process. This system was abandoned in favor of prismatic systems because of a substantial loss in field of view. Nonetheless, the optical results are sharp and clear within the field supplied. But this is not the point. What these are are extremely rare U.S. naval binoculars from over 100 years back. In their time, they were cutting-edge. The Navy was very happy with the long design on account of the large moment of inertia, which silences the vibrations which detract from image quality. Even today, you can be more able to read fine print with these than with many modern binoculars. The firm of Ben Pikes Sons was located at 928 Broadway in New York, N.Y., just a block south of the world famous Flatiron skyscraper, then the world’s tallest walled building (discounting the Great Pyramid of Giza or the Eiffel Tower in Paris). The leather case is of the finest and heaviest quality I have ever seen, far superior to even the finest German cases. The leather is still strong and supple after a century. In truth, the workmanship of the binoculars themselves is quite exquisite as well. From the all brass construction to the geared rack and pinion interpupillary adjustment, to the truth that the collimation of one of these long and high powered antique binocular is still intact, to the truth that the original leather cover is still all present: a lot of these facts testify to a very superior level of workmanship. All in all, a very collectible and rare binocular. Click here to see my other auctions and listings for fine binoculars


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