Text Box:   VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars. VIRTUAL MUSEUM

 MINIATURFERNGLÄSSER: DEUTSCHE URSPRÜNGE Nr 5

Les origines de l'Allemand jumelles miniatures

Истоки немецкий миниатюрный бинокль

Los orígenes del alemán prismáticos en miniatura

ドイツのミニチュアの双眼鏡の起源

MARK OHNO

Text Box:      NAVIGATION: I WANT TO SEE:

Optistar 6x Miniature Binoculars, Without Markings. Das Miniaturfernglas „Optistar“ 6x, Ohne Kennzeichnung. «Optistar» Jumelles Miniatures 6x, Sans Marquages. «Optistar» Миниатюрные бинокли, без маркировок. Optistar 6x ミニチュアの双眼鏡 . “Optistar” Miniature Kikare , Utan Markeringar. « Optistar» 6x Prismáticos en Miniatura, Sin Marcas. Binocolo « Optistar» 6x in Miniatura, Senza Marcature.

UNMARKED [Optistar] binoculars Origin: Cassel, Germany. Serial number 41435. No “Optistar” marking, No “6x” marking. Binoculars Sourced in the USA Collection of Mark Ohno

Unmarked, Serial number 41435.

ca 1927 or so.

Normal markings. Serial number 41431

ca 1927 or so.

Normal markings. Serial number 41431.

Unmarked, Serial number 41435.

ca 1927 or so.

Compare these interesting unmarked [Optistar] binoculars series number 41435, pictured above and at left, to the Optistar binoculars serial number 41431, pictured at right, which have normal markings. These unmarked binoculars left the production line just 4 binoculars after the normally marked binoculars. Pending future finds or information, these are the only unmarked Optistar binoculars documented that are known to us at this time.

Additional Advertisements: Fata Morgana Binoculars Weitere Werbematerialien für „Fata Morgana“-Ferngläser. Annonces Supplémentaires: «Fata Morgana» Jumelles. Дополнительные рекламные объявления: «Fata Morgana» бинокль.   追加 のアドバタイズメント: Fata Morgana 双眼鏡 . Ytterligare annonser: “Fata Morgana” Kikare. Nuevos anuncios: «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos. Annunci Aggiuntivi di Binocolo «Fata Morgana»

The George Mayerle Optical Co ran this Fata Morgana Ad without using the Fata Morgana name . It ran in the Optical Journal and Review of Optometry April 6, April 13, and April 22 of 1922.

The George Mayerle Optical Co ran this Fata Morgana Ad without using the Fata Morgana name . It ran in the Optical Journal and Review of Optometry April 27, May 11, May 18, May 25, and June 1 of 1922.

The George Mayerle Co ran this Fata Morgana Ad without using the Fata Morgana name . It ran in the Optical Journal and Review of Optometry June 8,  of 1922. Note Mention of a new tariff that would double prices! This would be the US Fordney-McCumber protective Tariff Bill which raised ad valorem US import tariffs in September 1922 to 38.5%

Tariff

The Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922 on Imported Goods in the USA. 

The protectionist Fordney-McCumber Tariff act in the USA was signed by president Warren Harding in September 1922. It allowed imported goods to be taxed based on any difference of lower production costs to what US production costs would be, and allowed imported goods to be taxed according to US retail sales price (rather than having the price or value calculated on pre importation wholesale or manufacturing cost). The result was an ad valorem import tariff of around 38.5%. It presumably curtailed or choked off importation of Fata Morgana binoculars, and US advertisement of Fata Morgana binoculars appeared to taper off in 1923. The retail price in 1922 was $25 (around $291 in 2017 US dollars). None of the 1923 Fata Morgana ads show a price.          

Fata Morgana “Binoculettes” Advertisement December 1923, Detmers, 354 South Broaday and 735 South Hill, Los Angeles, California (Opticians)

Fata Morgana “Binoculettes” Advertisement December 1923, Texas Eganhouse Optical Co., 713 Main St.,  Houston, Texas

The George Mayerle Optical Co ran this Fata Morgana Ad without using the Fata Morgana name . It ran in January 1922

The George Mayerle Optical Co ran this Fata Morgana Ad without using the Fata Morgana name . It ran in May 1922 in Lincoln Nebraska, USA. Similar ads ran in Pittsburg Pa. in Feb. 1922.

Michaels Jewelry Store ran this Fata Morgana Ad without using the Fata Morgana name . It ran in Dec. 1921 in Green Bay Wisconsin, USA

MINIATUUR JAPANSE VERREKIJKERS

MINIATUROWE LORNETKI

PIENOISKOOSKA JAPANILAINEN KIIKARIT

μικροσκοπικά κιάλια

ミニチュア双眼鏡

ống nhòm mini

مناظير مصغرة اليابانيةچھوٹے جاپانی دوربین

BINÓCULOS JAPONÊS EM MINIATURA

DÛRBÎN JAPANESE XWEBIXWE

دوربین دوچشمی ژاپنی مینیاتوری

MINIATUUR JAPANESE BINOCULAERS

MINIJATURNI JAPANSKI DALEKOZOR

MINIATURNÍ JAPONSKÉ DALEKOHLEDY

MALIIT NA LARAWAN JAPANESE LARGABISTA

MINIATYURA YAPONIYA DURBIN

BINOCOLO GIAPPONESE IN MINIATURA

TEROPONG KECIL JEPUN

TYHULASI AMANCINANE JAPANESE

ỐNG NH Ò M MINIATURE NH Â T BảN

సూక్ష్మ జపనీస్ దూరదర్శిని

மினியேச்சர் ஜப்பனீஸ் தொலைநோக்கியின்

KEKERAN  JEPANG MINIATUR

کوچني د جاپان د فير

CASRIGA GHADAFI JAPANESE

MINIJATURNI JAPANSKI DALEKOZORI

MINYATI LONGVI JAPON È

L Í TIL JAPANSKA SJ Ó NAUKI

MINIAT Ü R T Á VCS Ö

DADA JAPAN BINOPKULARI

MINIATURE JAPANESE MAKA ANYA ABUO

KAKANG'ONO ZOYANG'ANIRA JAPANESE

Text Box: NAVIGATION TO ALL PAGES
TOP OF PAGE, BOX RIGHT SIDE,
OR CLICK HERE.

CONTACT US WITH INFORMATION OR COMMENTS:  miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

Fata Morgana Binoculars: Evolution of Eyepieces. „Fata Morgana“-Ferngläser: Evolution der Okulare. «Fata Morgana» Jumelles: Évolution des Oculaires. “Fata Morgana” Kikare: Okularets Utveckling. «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos: evolución de los Oculares. Binocolo «Fata Morgana» : Evoluzione Degli Oculari.

Fata Morgana model

Observed Serial numbers #680 - #6322 

Pin plus slot type focusing mechanism

Fata Morgana model

Observed Serial numbers #8383 - #12691

Vertical knurl & pin on ring type focusing mechanism

Fata Morgana model (gilded brass)

Observed Serial numbers #14133 - #22421

Cross hatch knurl & pin on ring type focusing mechanism

Fata Morgana model (painted aluminum)

Observed Serial numbers #141330 - #22421

Cross hatch knurl & pin on ring

Fata Morgana model.

Observed Serial numbers #25071 - #25804

One piece Bakelite eyepiece / focus assembly, vertical knurl

Prinzess model

No serial number.

One piece Bakelite eyepiece / focus assy, cross hatch knurl

Text Box:       UNDER
CONSTRUCTION
Text Box:       UNDER
CONSTRUCTION

The George Mayerle Optical Co filed for a patent on the name   Binoculettes in December 1921, claiming use since August 1920, recorded in the Gazette of the United States Patent Office Volume 296 March 1922.

December 1922 advertisement using the trade marked name “Binoculette” for Fata Morgana binoculars, by Washington DC USA jeweler A. Kahn Inc.

December 1923 Fata Morgana binoculars advertisement by Washington DC USA jeweler A. Kahn Inc. (binoculars are upside down)

April 8, 1925 Fata Morgana binoculars advertisement by Washington DC USA jeweler A. Kahn Inc. Perhaps the latest documented advertisement.

April 8 1925 Fata Morgana binoculars advertisement by Washington DC USA jeweler A. Kahn Inc.

Plate Glass Factory, Reno, Nevada USA, Dec. 23, 1923

TWO CONSECUTIVE Fata Morgana Binoculars (serial number 9613, and serial number 9614), with Serial Number on Prism Cover. „Fata Morgana”-Fernglas (Serienummer 9613) Mit Seriennummer auf Prism-Gehäuse. Jumelles «Fata Morgana» (-Numéro de Série 9613), avec le Numéro de Série sur le Boîtier Prism.«Fata Morgana» бинокли. Серийный номер 9613) С серийным номером на корпусе призмы. «Fata Morgana» Kikare (serienummer 9613) med seriennumer på Prisma Täcken. «Fata Morgana» Prismáticos (Número de Serie #9613), Con numero di Serie sul Recinto del Prisma. Binocolo «Fata Morgana» (Numeri di Serie 9613), con Número de Serie en el Gabinete del Prisma. «Fata Morgana двоглед (серијски број 9613 ) са серијским бројем на покривачу призме.

MANY THANKS TO PAPIĆ DARKO OF NOVI SAD, VOJVODINA,SERBIA for assistance in acquiring the Fata Morgana binoculars serial number #9613, Fata Morgana serial number #9614 obtained from UK auction a month or so later.

Acquiring a number of examples of a serial numbered items, especially those displaying  variations, allows a glimpse into the pattern and sequence and evolution of design and production changes. Fata Morgana binoculars had a number of such changes, involving the ocular focus parts, frame thickness, prism cover retention, embellishments, and cases. As far as can be observed from near the start of production to serial number 6322 the serial number of Fata Morgana binoculars was stamped on the frame. Observed from serial number 8383 to 9613 the serial number was stamped on a prism cover. From serial number 10,202 the serial numbers were observed stamped on the frame again.

These Fata Morgana binoculars display the second or third pattern of focus mechanism (ring, pin, vertical knurl), the first pattern of 6mm thinner frame thickness, and the first pattern of prism cover retention (without side screw), as well as having the serial number on the prism cover.

Fata Morgana 4x binoculars # 9613, Origin: Cassel, Germany. Binoculars Sourced in SERBIA Collection of Mark Ohno

CONTACT US WITH INFORMATION OR COMMENTS: miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

As a product proceeds along the production line or steps of production there is a point where a serial number is assigned, either by a part being stamped with a serial number or by a part previously marked with a serial number being attached. At that point consecutive serial numbered items may be together, but in packing and in separation of groups for domestic and export orders, and in destination distribution and retailing, consecutive numbered product seldom stay together. I once purchased two consecutive serial numbered new rifles that a local FFL dealer had, but both he and I thought that was a really uncommon circumstance. I had been looking for consecutive serial number vintage miniature binoculars since I started collecting them, without any great expectation I would achieve that. I was extremely surprised to wind up owning 2 consecutive serial numbered early production Fata Morgana binoculars. Lets look at the odds against that happening. These two early production Fata Morgana binoculars left the manufacturer in war ravaged and depressed Germany probably around 3 years after world War One, and likely in 1920 or 1921. One made its way to the UK, and the other made its way Serbia (and if it went directly then it actually went to the 1918 formed Kingdom of the Serbs and Croats). The survival rate for these Fata Morgana binoculars the 97 or so years to 2018 is probably not huge, based on a half dozen to dozen per year surfacing for sale on various auction sites around the world, and the limited quantity of serial numbers of survivors I have been able to document from any source. I was approached by Papić Darko through the website and imported his pair (serial number 9613) from Serbia to the USA. A few weeks later I noticed serial number 9614 on a UK auction site and bid on ands won and imported them from the UK. The odds against that sequence of events transpiring has to be quite large. (If any statisticians out there thinks that they can calculate the odds please email me at miniature.binocrldulars@ gmail.com). These are the only two Fata Morgana binoculars with serial number on the prism covers that I am aware of, and I think the practice probably only lasted less than a few hundred serial numbers before serial numbers returned to the frames. Some serial numbers a bit before and some after exist but I can’t find photos to confirm serial number location.

Fata Morgana 4x binoculars # 9613, Origin: Cassel, Germany. Binoculars Sourced from a UK auction sold by Hannah Bignell of Tring, Borough of Dacorum, Hertforshire in the Chiltern Hills, UK

Collection of Mark Ohno

These Fata Morgana binoculars display all the features of the binoculars one serial number previous (shown above). Amazing. Less fortunately they came with a screw adjuster spall chipped prism from a drop on a hard surface which meant a left side prism was rattling loose in the prism cover with resulting loss of focus (not disclosed in the auction) plus left side dirty optics. I had to free both the adjuster screws with heat and rob a prism from another pair of Fata Morgana binoculars to get these functional.

Screw adjuster spall chipped prism in these I had to replace