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Archives of an email list on the history of binoculars. - page 47 / 150





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  I checked my lens out with a Geiger counter and sure enough it is radioactive.  Supposedly radioactive bombardment will yellow some glasses.  These lenses started out clear but over time became yellowed.  The article was written by a fellow who had access to several different examples of these lenses and said they were yellowed to varying degress -- probably due to the total amount o Thorium oxide in the glass mix.

  Could this be an explanation to these yellow tinted binoculars -- a geiger counter will tell!      ---Mark


I believe there are some scarce examples of military optics that contain radioactive glass, that has yellowed over time.  As far as I know, there is little reason to be concerned about such in military binoculars; though if you find a unique looking model with a very odd tint to the glass, you could at least remember the possibility.  --Peter


Subject: Report on a trip to Zeiss in 1921

From: <mikedenmark@___ele.dk>

This is a translation of a report, made by a danish officer, on a trip he made to Zeiss in Jena in 1921.

For US residents, I may add one note. European politics are weird, and has always been weird. To read below, of socialists making deals with a Company management, against communists may sound far out.

It is not, it does not really make anyone raise a brow.


Report on a journey to Carl Zeiss in Jena, may-june 1921.


Captain A. Falking of the danish army Quartermaster unit.

Foreman Lembcke of the army quartermaster factories.

We arrived at Jena saturday afternoon, april 30th. 1921 and visited the factory on monday, may 2. where we had a couple of hours conference with the management of the company.

The general manager of the company stated, that the company had been reluctant to accept the 12 range finders Model 1915 for repair. Furthermore, we had to accept, that we would only visit the factory half an hour after normal working time. the company would be at our service from 15.30 to 18.30 afternoon.

The general working conditions were, even though they had improved somewhat, unstable. At the factory, there was a minority of 2-300 communists, who, among other things, after easter, had tried to prevent the majority socialists and the independent socialists from working.  The later two parties had contacted the management, and with the acknowledgement, but without the support of the management, made such arrangements, that those willing to work could enter the factory, before the communists could prevent it.

The factory had, during the war, had 15000 workers, but now they employed about 5000. which corresponded with peace time operations, only the general mood was low everywhere. The management was depressed and found the conditions intolerable as they dared not give orders to the workers.

The departments making war material has been either closed down, or reduced to mere shadows of their former size. This was because the work for the german army and navy was restricted by the Entente ( The allies of WWI)

The workers are especially unwilling to work on military orders, and the mere presence of foreigners in the factory with business of a military nature, could cause  trouble with the workers again. Trouble that the factory neither would, nor dared risk.

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