The European Origins of miniature binoculars Text Box: VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars. Binoculars MUSEUM

MARK OHNO ミニチュア双眼鏡 миниатюрные бинокли

 

- GERMAN ORIGINS #1

- GERMAN ORIGINS #2

- GERMAN ORIGINS #3

- GERMAN ORIGINS #4

- GERMAN ORIGINS #5

- GERMAN ORIGINS #6

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #1

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #2

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #3

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #4

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #5

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #6

- JAPANESE ORIGINS #7

- INTRODUCTION #1

- INTRODUCTION #2

- DISTRIBUTION #1

- DISTRIBUTION #2

- DISTRIBUTION #3

- DISTRIBUTION #4

- DISTRIBUTION #5

- DISTRIBUTION #6

- DISTRIBUTION #7

- DISTRIBUTION #8

- DISTRIBUTION #9

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #1

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #2

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #3

- FUN ANALYZING BRANDS #4

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND A-B

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND C-G

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND H-M

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND N-Q

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND R-S

- BINOCULARS BY BRAND T-Z

- PHOTO GALLERY #1

- PHOTO GALLERY #2

- PHOTO GALLERY #3

- PHOTO GALLERY #4

- PHOTO GALLERY #5

- PHOTO GALLERY #6

- PHOTO GALLERY #7

- PHOTO GALLERY #8

- PHOTO GALLERY #9

 - PHOTO GALLERY # 10

- PHOTO GALLERY # 11

- PHOTO GALLERY # 12

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #1

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #2

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #3

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #4

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #5

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #6

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #7

- VINTAGE ADVERTISING #8

- ORIGINAL BOXES #1

- ORIGINAL BOXES #2

- CAN YOU REPAIR THESE?

- REPAIR SEIZED OCULARS IF

- COLLIMATE AND REPAIR CF

- MORE REPAIRS #1

- MORE REPAIRS #2

- MORE REPAIRS #3

- IDENTIFY THIS

- SWAP SHOP & MISC

- MISC #1

- MISC #2

- BIG & SMALL #1

-BIG & SMALL#2

- BIG & SMALL #3

- BIG & SMALL #4

- BIG & SMALL #5

- BIG & SMALL #6

- BIG & SMALL #7

- BIG & SMALL #8

- OTHER BINOCULARS #1

- OTHER BINOCULARS #2

- OTHER BINOCULARS #3

- OTHER BINOCULARS #4

- OTHER BINOCULARS #5

- OTHER BINOCULARS #6

- OTHER BINOCULARS #7

- OTHER BINOCULARS #8

- OTHER BINOCULARS #9

- OTHER BINOCULARS #10

- OTHER BINOCULARS #11

- OTHER BINOCULARS #12

- OTHER BINOCULARS #13

- OTHER BINOCULARS #14

- OTHER BINOCULARS #15

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #01

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #02

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #03

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #04

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #05

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #06

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #07

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #08

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #09

- BINOCULAR CATALOGS #10

- DATA BINOCULARS BRANDS

- INDEX #1 (A-L)

- INDEX #2 (M-Z)

- JB JE MFGR. CODE LIST

- TRADEMARKED LOGOS

Prinzess Private Branded (Fata Morgana) Binoculars (No Serial Number) Fata Morgana“ Ferngläser mit der Markung „Prinzess“ (ohne Seriennummer). Jumelles «Fata Morgana» Marque de Distributeur «Prinzess» (Aucun numéro de série). «Fata Morgana» бинокли . Маркировка «Prinzess». Серийный номер не присутствует.  «Prinzess» Marcado «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos, Sin Número de Serie.

Prinzess private branded (Fata Morgana but not marked as such) 4x binoculars Origin: Cassel, Germany. No serial number. Binoculars Sourced in Germany . Collection of Mark Ohno

prinzess miniature binoculars

Same one piece Bakelite eyepiece as on the Ecker private branded Optistar documented among last Optistar binoculars produced, so very late production is suggested.

Packed in a economy paperboard case of poor quality.

While unmarked as  being “Fata Morgana”, these “Prinzess” binoculars were clearly made by the same manufacturer under the same patents. My search has not so far turned up or observed only one other examples (below), so these were probably made in reasonably small quantities. The lack of a serial number, the very late pattern Bakelite eyepieces, and the cheap cardboard carry case which is actually less well made than the packing carton box for the earlier binoculars, suggests a company struggling as the German economy was engulfed by hyperinflation and the great depression. One has to remember that in the early part of Fata Morgana production in 1921, 75 German marks equaled one US dollar. By Nov 1923 it took 4.2 trillion German marks to buy one US dollar (the photos of people with wheelbarrows of German marks to buy a loaf of bread), and while this did stabilize in 1924, unemployment in Germany went from a bit over one and 1/2 million in Sept 1929, a month before the stock market crash, to 3 million unemployed a year later, and 6 million unemployed a few years later, and 30% unemployment by 1932. Difficult times for manufacturers of non essential goods.

Optistar Binocular Eyepiece Design & Production Evolution. Design-und Herstellungsvarianten: die Evolution des „ Otistar”- Okulars. Jumelles Optistar : Conception d'oculaire et L’évolution de la Fabrication. Optistar Prismáticos: Variaciones en la Producción de los Oculares

Optistar Vertical Knurl

One piece bakelite

eyepiece / focus assy, observed from serial numbers 38597- 43295

Optistar Cross Hatch Knurl

One piece Bakelite eyepiece / focus assy, serial no. and place in production sequence not known.

Fata Morgana Eyepiece Diameter, Design & Production Variations . Design–und Herstellungsvarianten der „Fata Morgana“-Ferngläser: Okulardurchmesser . Jumelles «Fata Morgana» Diamètre d’oculaire—Variations de Conception et de Fabrication. «Fata Morgana» Глаза щиток различия. «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos: Variaciones en la Producción de los Oculares.

“Prinzess” branded Fata Morgana, Very Late Eyepiece approx. 24mm

Fata Morgana Serial # 14133, Eyepiece approx. 21mm 

Fata Morgana Serial # 8383, early production

Eyepiece approx. 17mm

Fata Morgana Serial # 680, earliest pattern Eyepiece approx. 17mm

1920 German Advertisement for Fata Morgana Binoculars and Optische Werke Alfred Baumann. Zeitschriftenwerbung der Optische Werke Alfred Baumann (1920). Publicité de 1920 pour des Jumelles «Fata Morgana,» Usine Optique d'Alfred Baumann. 1920 Немецкий «Fata Morgana» бинокли  реклама, оптический завод Alfred Baumann. 1920 Tyska Fata Morgana Kikare Annons: Optische Werke Alfred Baumann. «Fata Morgana»1920 Binocular Alemán Anuncio, Optische Werke Alfred Baumann. 1920 Pubblicità Tedesca per Binocoli «Fata Morgana» e Opere Ottiche Alfred Baumann.

Original Fata Morgana advertisement claimed to be from 1920, by the Optische Werke [Optical Works] Alfred Baumann & Co. Kommandit-Gesellschaft [Limited Partnership] [in] Cassel .This advertisement claims the Fata Morgan to be “as light as a feather, only 75 grams in weight” [ feather in background] and claims to be “ the best and smallest prismenglas or prism binocular for travel nd sport”. : Collection of Mark Ohno, Sourced  in Germany . All rights reserved.

This 1920 Baumann advertisement shows a later type focus arrangement than the 1919 pin and slot above (as observed binocular serial no 680, different than observed on binoculars, with the diopter ring with a shorter vertical knurl that seen on serial #8383.

Fata Morgana Binoculars Advertisement MB

Fata Morgana Binoculars (serial no # 28766 ). „Fata Morgana”-Fernglas (Serienummer 28766). Jumelles «Fata Morgana» - Numéro de Série 28766. «Fata Morgana» бинокли. Серийный номер 28766). Fata   Morgana Prismáticos (Número de Serie 28766). «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos Número de Serie  (Número de Serie #28766). Binocolo «Fata Morgana» (Numeri di Serie 28766).

Mid 1920’s Fata Morgana 4x binoculars.ser  #28766 Origin: Kassel, Germany. Binoculars Sourced in the UK . Collection of Mark Ohno

Text Box: Screw mark

Under the Bakelite eyepieces, late model Fata Morgana binoculars use the same pin and slot mechanism of the earliest Fata Morgana models. The eyepieces pictured above are on another late Fata Morgana binoculars serial #25804 I that I acquired from Prague in the Czech Republic, and are the same as on the Java Market Fata Morgana binoculars sold by Dutch East Indies dealer Ludwig B ü nger serial # 35117.

Text Box: Screw

Einige Beispiele für braune bzw. schwarze Köcher und Etuis. Ich habe vor, mich mit diesem. Thema weiter auseinanderzusetzen. Sollten Sie ein „Fata Morgana“-bzw. „Optistar“- Fernglas mit Originalköcher oder-etui besitzen, senden Sie mir bitte ein entsprechendes Foto mit Angabe der Seriennummer des Glases! Les jumelles Fata Morgana ont ete vendues avec une grande variete d’etui. Pouvez –vous accorder l’etui avec les jumelles Fata Morgana qui lui correspondent? Veuillez m’envoyer un email. Dites-moi le modele de l’etui et le numero de série des jumelles.

Examining the Fata Morgana Binocular Case Designs. „Fata Morgana“-Ferngläser: Köcher und Etuis. Propos des Etuis pour les Jumelles «Fata Morgana». Различные «Fata Morgana» бинокли случаях. Examen de la «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos Diseños de Casos. Disegni do Casi per Binocolo «Fata Morgana».

The Fata Morgana binoculars are observed to have had quite a variety of cases, presumably manufactured by vendors already making cases for opera glasses and binoculars. When I am able to gather more information, I will endeavor in future to associate Fata Morgana case patterns with Fata Morgana binocular serial numbers. Unfortunately the vast majority of Fata Morgana binoculars encountered have lost their cases in the 90 years or so since they were new. If you can associate a Fata Morgana case with a particular binocular, please let me know the case type and the serial number of that binocular (at miniature.binoculars@gmail.com)

Rectangular pattern Fata Morgana cases with slide latch. This pattern of case has been observed for serial numbers between 10539 and 35,117. Apparently available throughout much of the production period, and partly because of the mirror in the case lid as well as the  case design and velour colors, I believe these were intended to be sold as a woman’s model. 

Very late pattern of low quality paperboard case associated with the non-serial numbered Prinzess branded Fata Morgana binocular. Collection of Mark Ohno

Destroyed Information About Binoculars? Informationen zur Geschichte der Ferngläser im 2.WK Zerstört? Renseignements Inedits sur les Jumelles? Verwoest Binoculaire Informatie ? Информация о бинокль было уничтожено. Información Sobre Prismáticos Destruido por las Bombas? Distrutto le Informazioni sul Binocolo.

Why the dearth of information about the 1920’s activities of Alfred Baumann, The Optische Werk Alfred Baumann, and August F ϋ llgrabe? Well, during WWII Kassel was home of Henschel und Sohn, who produced the Tiger tank. It was also the home of the Gerhard Fieseler Werke, which produced the Messerschmitt BF109, Focke Wulf FW190, the Storch, V-1 rocket and many other military aircraft (mostly under license). Kassel was bombed repeatedly in WWII. In particular, during the RAF raid of Oct. 22-23 in 1943, 569 bombers dropped 460,000 incendiary stick bombs, killed 10,000 residents, and the city center of Kassel burned for 7 days. Renowned binocular expert and author Dr Hans Seeger contacted the Kassel Chamber of Commerce about researching pre-war binocular production and manufacturers and was told most of the commercial records were destroyed during the war.

Watching Kassel burn, probably in October 1943.

Blick auf des brennende Kassel (vermutlich Oktober 1943).

Köning Straße, Kassel, in 1945, 2.4 miles from Baumann’s address in Kölnische Straße Köningstraße Kassel ( 1945), ca. 4 km von Baumanns alter  Adresse, Kölnische Straße 4. Rue Köning , Kassel, en 1945, 1 kilomètresde l'adresse de Baumann dans Rue Kölnische 4

Kölnische Straße 4, Baumann’s address 93 years later, with post war buildings. Die Adresse Kölnische Straße 4 heute. Rue Kölnische 4 aujourd'hui

Ruins of the bombed out Fieseler plants around Kassel. Zerbombtes Fabrikgebäude der Fa. Fieseler, in der Nähe von Kassel.Ruines bombardées des usines de Fieseler près de Kassel.

Fata Morgana # 10539

Found in Holland

Photo Ted Brink

Collection Nico Westphal

Fata Morgana# 20950, found in Germany. Collection & photo G ϋ nter Kampf

Fata Morgana # 14441, smooth finish leather, slide latch, Found in the USA. collection of Mark Ohno

Fata Morgana # 17360, Faux alligator leather, slide latch. Found in the UK. Collection of Mark Ohno

Fata Morgana # 11019

Fata Morgana # 15504

Photos & collection of Nico Westphal, Netherlands