Subject: Meeting in Tucson
From: Peter Abrahams
Binocular collectors met in Los Angeles (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and earlier years), Vancouver (April 2002), & Herne, UK (July 2002). At the 2004 meeting in Tucson, it was decided by informal poll that these early meetings were not 'Binocular History Society' meetings. The first meeting of the Binocular History Society was in San Diego, 2003, when we named the society. The second was in Tucson, 2004. The third will be in Koblenz, 2004. We are looking for a venue for the fourth meeting.
Second meeting of the Binocular History Society, 19-21 March 2004, Tucson, Viscount Suite Hotel.
In attendance were: Peter Abrahams, John Anderson, Forrest Babcock, Dick Buchroeder, Nick Grossman, Jack Kelly, James Lidgett, Gene Lucas, Earl Osborne, Earl Osborne Jr., Steve Rohan, Steve Stayton, Tim Stevens, Fan Tao & Janet Zuelke.
Friday, 19 March, we gathered for dinner and conversation.
Saturday 20 March, displays were set up, including: Two notebooks from John Anderson, detailing binocular models and their context. Fan Tao showed two 6x42 binoculars made by Kodak for the P-61 aircraft during WWII, with related papers; and the Univex plastic body binocular prototype from WWII, with papers. Steve Stayton brought a large variety of binoculars by Bausch & Lomb, and many brochures & catalogs. Steve Rohan brought a mounted Sard 6x42, and Gene Lucas showed a hand held Sard 6x42. Jack Kelly shipped from Vancouver a variety of early Zeiss Feldstechers.
The first presentation was by Dick Buchroeder, on 'Lens design at B & L / Rochester, 1964-1968'. A drawing of the B&L factory was displayed and the work areas described.
Earl Osborne gave the second talk, about the U.S. Navy Opticalman service. A broad outline of military issue optics was presented, leading to the Navy schools and yards used for optics work. This was a detailed and lengthy talk, that can hopefully be published in the future.
Much time was spent in informal discussion and examination of displays.
Saturday afternoon, the group was given a tour of the University of Arizona's mirror laboratory, where mirrors to 8.4 meters in diameter are under fabrication. Roger Ceragioli of the lab was our host.
Saturday evening, we met at the home of Steve Stayton, for inspection & use of a variety of binoculars.
On Sunday morning, we continued with presentations.
Fan Tao presented 'The P-61 Night Binocular: P-61 Black Widow History, Night Binocular History, Details, & Images'. This very unusual special purpose binocular can be seen at his web site, http://fantao.home.att.net/m6x42.htm
Peter Abrahams gave a talk on 'The Bausch & Lomb Mark 41 7 x 50', thought by most to be the finest binocular produced by B&L. Little is known about the development or use of these binoculars, and the talk was mostly a runthrough of manuals & papers on this model.
Jack Kelly spoke on 'The B&L -Zeiss Connection, 1891-1939', illustrated with a large number of photos comparing similar models made by the two companies.