These types of small binoculars are appealing and handy

Text Box:  VINTAGE MINIATURE BINOCULARS

Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars. VIRTUAL MUSEUM

MARK OHNO

 

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #1

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #2

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #3

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #4

  - GERMAN ORIGINS #5

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #1

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #2

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #3

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #4

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #5

  - JAPANESE ORIGINS #6

  - INTRODUCTION #1

  - INTRODUCTION #2

  - DISTRIBUTION #1

  - DISTRIBUTION #2

  - DISTRIBUTION #3

  - DISTRIBUTION #4

  - DISTRIBUTION #5

  - DISTRIBUTION #6

  - DISTRIBUTION #7

  - DISTRIBUTION #8

  - 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

  - 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

  - INDEX

  - RESEARCH MATERIALS #1

  - RESEARCH MATERIALS #2

  - DATA BINOCULARS BRANDS

Japanese Miniature Binoculars Made Prior to WWII. Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan Jumelles Miniatures Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. Binocolo Giapponese in Miniatura Realizzato Prima Della Guerra Mondaile 2.

In addition to the “Nikko” Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha ( 日本光学工業株式会社 ) Mikron binoculars produced just after WWI in 1922 (see JAPANESE ORIGINS #1 ) some other brands of similar designs of miniature binoculars were also produced in Japan during the interwar period, perhaps mostly in the 1930’s and early 1940’s. They seem to be rather uncommon. There is some documentation that there were pre WWII efforts made to develop Japanese non military binocular exports. In 1935 a Japanese Trade Organization in Singapore created a traveling exhibition of Japanese goods to promote exports, and that exhibit included binoculars (Southeast Asia Studies Vol 21 Issue 4). Based on where they turn up today, interwar miniature binocular export seems to have been primarily to the UK and to the Commonwealth (including Canada). In order to consider a miniature Japanese binocular to probably have a pre-war origin I would expect to see the following characteristics

        -Painted entirely black (always on pre war)

        -Prism covers with crinkle (textured) black paint (usually on pre war)

        -Independent Focus: (always on pre war)

        -Prism cover screws of unplated brass (usually on pre war)

        -Metal eye cups of brass (normally or perhaps always on pre war)

        -No marking of “occupied Japan” (always)

        -No marking of “Japan” (almost always)

        -Prism covers of brass and not steel (normally or perhaps always)

        -No chrome plating, with the exception being that the hinge pin screw &

            related taper fitting are sometimes chrome plated (always).

  If the binoculars are accompanied by a case, one prefers a pattern seldom or not encountered with post war binoculars, such as a folding flap but molded “clamshell” seamed case. One prefers a provenance of originating from a country that probably had pre war trade with Japan, but that did not have early post war commercial importation of binoculars from Japan. (such as the UK, Canada, Australia/NZ, Ireland, & Commonwealth). Importation of pre war Japanese binoculars to the US seems to be fairly uncommon, but with a few documented exceptions such as the “Race” brand.

Delika Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars. „Delika“ M iniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan. Jumelles Miniatures de «Delika» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale. Delika» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии Delika ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます   «Delika» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Delika» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra

Delika 6x15 Binoculars and Delica marked case. Serial number 1881

Binocular obtained in the UK. Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan

Collection of Mark Ohno

Portrena Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars x 2. Portrena“ Miniaturferngläser x 2 sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan. Jumelles Miniatures x 2 de «Portrena» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale. «Portrena» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии x2 . Portrena ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます x2. «Portrena» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Portrena» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra x2.

Portrena 6x Binoculars and unmarked cases. Identical markings. No serial numbers present. First example obtained from Ireland, thanks to help by Niall Syms of Dublin in Ireland. Second obtained from the UK. Both manufactured prior to WWII in Japan. Both Collection of Mark Ohno

I suppose that the Delika name was probably intended to bring to mind the famous German Leica products of Leitz Wetzlar. Note the similarity of the Delika marked case (top)to this Mikron marked case (above) that was found with a Nkko Mikron   binocular known to have been   manufactured between 1932 and 1945.

I could find no likely meaning for “Portrena”. Marking the brand on the frame rather than on the prism covers is rather unusual (it was done on Ofuna post war miniature binoculars)

Yamato Kogaku Pigmy Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars. „Yamato Kogaku Pigmy“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan Jumelles Miniatures de «Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale.«Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии . Yamato Kogaku Pigmy ニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます . «Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Yamato Kogaku Pigmy» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra.

Race Pre-War Japanese Miniature Binoculars. Race“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan. Jumelles Miniatures de «Race» Fabriquées Avant la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale.   «Race» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска до второй мировой войны в Японии. Race ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます . «Race» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Antes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón. «Race» Binocolo Giaponese in Miniatura Pre-Guerra.

Race 5x15 Binoculars. Serial number 10616. Ca 1937-1941. Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan, Collection of   Mark Ohno (believe “Race” is intended to evoke racing, rather than skin color)

Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd Pigmy 6x15 Binoculars.

Without Case. No serial number present.

Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan

Collection of   Mark Ohno

Fuji Kogaku Race 6x15 Binoculars with case. Serial number 16426. Ca 1937-1941. Collection of   Mark Ohno

( I appreciate the help of my friend Nico Westphal, of the Netherlands, for facilitating this acquisition)

Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd Pigmy 6x15 Binoculars with case.   No serial number present. Collection of   Mark Ohno, Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan. (Appreciate the help of my friend Nico Westphal, of the Netherlands, for facilitating this acquisition)

RKK Riken Post War Japanese Miniature Binoculars (1947-1952 period). „RKK Riken“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan (1947-1952).Jumelles Miniatures de «RKK Riken» Fabriquées Après la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale (1947-1952).«RKK Riken» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска после войны   мировой войны в Японии ( 1947-1953).RKK Riken ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます (1947-1952).«RKK Riken» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón 1947-52. ).«RKK Riken» Binocolo Giapponese in Miniatura Post-Guerra (1947-1952).

Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd. Is a fairly generic name. Yamato can be interpreted as being a traditional name for “Japan”. Kogaku means “optical”. So in “English Yamato Kogaku Co Ltd.” is “Japan Optical Co Ltd”.

A number of binoculars were produced in the early post war occupation period of 1947-1952 which still had most of the features of pre war miniature binoculars, but are identified as being post war and were either produced when the “occupied Japan” marking was mandatory (2/47-12/49) or when it was optional (12/49-4/52). These RKK Riken binoculars are typical of these. RKK was for R iken K ōgaku K ōgyo, a company with a complicated history that (see its entry in DISTRIBUTION #7 , and which became Ricoh. I have observed serial numbers for these RKK binoculars from 12,706 to 41,725 so at least 29,000 were made and probably at least 42,000 were made (pending more info.).

Four RKK Riken 6x15 Binoculars. Made in Occupation period 1947-1952. Collection of   Mark Ohno

RKK Riken binoculars

serial number 13268

RKK Riken binoculars

serial number 20250

Markings common to all of these RKK Riken binoculars are “coated lens” on left side of left front prism, and “Riken 6x15” and “MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN” on the right hand prism cover

RKK Riken binoculars serial number 30951

RKK Riken binoculars

serial number 31022

A fairly unique feature of RKK Riken binoculars serial number 31022 is that one of the objective prism covers is a factory overpainted reused reworked serial numbered front cover from a different [reject? spoiled? ] binocular serial number 31205. Both binoculars would presumably have been from the same batch and binocular 31205 was for some reason cannibalized for parts.

AOCo Asahi Post War Japanese Miniature Binoculars (1947-1952 period). „AOCo Asahi“ Miniaturferngläser sind vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Japan (1947-1952). Jumelles Miniatures de «AOCo Asahi» Fabriquées Après la Deuxieme Grande Guerre Mondiale (1947-1952). «AOCo Asahi» миниатюрные бинокль выпуска после войны   мировой войны в Японии ( 1947-1953). AOCo Asahi ミニチュア双眼鏡が2回目の世界大戦の前に日本で作られます (1947-1952) «AOCo» Prismáticos en Miniatura Fabricados Después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial en Japón 1947-1952. «AOCo» Binocolo Giapponese in Miniatura Post-Guerra ( 1947-1953).

AOCo Asahi Optical Co Jupiter Jr. binoculars serial number 5846. Made during Occupation period (pre-1950) . Some pre war characteristics. Collection of   Mark Ohno

AOCo Asahi Optical Co Jupiter Jr. binoculars serial number 7507

Made during Occupation period ca 1950.Case Inscribed Christmas 1950 from General Joe Battley . Collection of Mark Ohno

Brigadier General Joseph F. Battley (1893-1970) was Chief of Service Command Div 1942-1943, Deputy Chief of staff for Service Command Army Service Forces 1944-1945, Chief of Public Relations Army Service Forces 1945-1947 and retired in 1947.

AOCo Asahi Optical Co Jupiter Jr. ,serial number 9105, Made during Occupation period (ca 1951-1953) Pre war characteristics. Collection of   Mark Ohno

Ursprünge der Japanische Miniatur Fernglas

Origines des Japonais jumelles miniatures

Истоки японского миниатюрного бинокль

Los orígenes de los prismáticos Japoneses en miniatura

日本 のミニチュアの双眼鏡の起源

The importer United Binocular Co. of Chicago apparently imported RKK Riken binoculars during the occupation period, as evidenced by serial number 12706 which also carries the “United name” and   falls before the serial numbers of examples above.

“Race” Binoculars: Insight into Interwar Distribution of Japanese Miniature Binoculars. Race“ Fernglas: Einblick in Zwischenkriegs Verteilung der japanischen Miniatur-Ferngläser «Race» Jumelles: Un Aperçu de la Distribution Entre les Deux Guerres de Jumelles Miniatures Japonaises .      «Race» бинокль: Insight в межвоенный распределения японских миниатюрных Бинокль. Race " 日本 のミニチュア双眼鏡の戦間分布にインサイト:双眼鏡を Race" Kikare: Insikt i Interwar Fördelning av Japanska Miniatyr Kikare.    «Race» Prismáticos: La Comprensión de Distribución de Entreguerras Prismáticos Miniatura Japoneses. «Race» Binocoli” : Approfondimento Sulla Distribuzione di Binocoli Giapponesi in Miniatura tra le Guerre da.

Information about interwar Japanese miniature binoculars and their distribution is very scarce. One can analyze countries where they turn up today, and factor in known political and trade circumstances, and speculate. But the real world does not always operate in such a simplified way. So it is exciting when some real information about the interwar years surfaces. L. Oppleman, Inc is documented as an importer in New York City USA in the period 1934-1939, and their 1938 catalog has imported   binoculars and telescopes including Race Miniature Japanese binoculars, plus drawing/drafting instruments, German Haenel Air pistols, novelties, and scientific instruments. The Race binoculars did not appear in the 1934 Oppleman catalog. Oppleman also held a US patent for a range finder for cameras. See catalog scans in RESEARCH MATERIALS #1

1938 L. Oppleman, Inc Catalog

Collection of Mark Ohno. Note that the serial number on my earliest Race binoculars is around 2,116 binoculars later than the serial number of the binoculars in the catalog.

Some of the products that L. Oppleman was selling in the US in 1938. Since I also collect air guns, I was amused to own the Haenel models 28, and 100, and an earlier version of the mod 26, all of which appear in the 1938 Oppleman catalog. Oppleman would have lost their German and Japanese imported products within a few years.

Collections of Mark Ohno

Do you own one of these miniature binoculars? Send me a photo of someone looking though them and I may post it on this website. Send by email to miniature.binoculars@gmail.com.

 

Haben Sie eines dieser Miniaturfernglasbesitzen ? Schicken Sie mir ein Foto von jemanden, wenn sie, und ich kann es auf dieser Website veröffentlichen . Per E-Mail an

miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

 

Possédez-vous un de ces jumelles miniatures ? Envoyez-moi une photo de quelqu'un qui cherche si eux et je peux publier sur ce site . Envoyer par email à miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

 

あなたはこれらのミニチュア双眼鏡の 1 を所有していますか?私にそれらかかわら探し誰かの写真を送信し、私はこのウェブサイト上でそれを掲示することがあります miniature.binoculars@gmail.com に電子メールで送信します

 

Possiedi uno di questi binocoli miniatura ? Inviami una foto di qualcuno in cerca anche loro e posso postare su questo sito . Invia per e-mail a miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

 

Vill du äger en av dessa miniatyr kikare ? Skicka mig ett foto av någon ser även dem och jag kan lägga upp den på denna webbplats . Skicka med e-post till iniature.binoculars@gmail.com

 

¿Es usted el propietario de uno de estos binoculares en miniatura ? Envíame una foto de alguien que busca , aunque ellos y puedo publicarlo en este sitio web. Enviar por correo electrónico a miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

 

Ydych chi'n berchen ar un o'r ysbienddrych bach hyn? Anfon llun o rywun yn edrych arnynt er mi ac efallai y byddaf bostio ar y wefan hon. Anfonwch e-bost at miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

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Race 5x15 Binoculars. Serial number 9975. Ca 1937-1941. Manufactured prior to WWII in Japan, Collection of   Mark Ohno (believe “Race” is intended to evoke racing, rather than skin color)

A prism cover has the JB5 manufacturer’s code of “ M eiji S eiko K ogaku” and “Meiji Seiko Co Ltd” and 明治精工株式会社

Original RKK Riken binoculars box

 

Example #1

Example #2

Example #2

Example #1

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

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More Markings on Miniature Binoculars is a Gift of More Information. Weitere Markierungen auf Miniatur- Fernglas ist ein Geschenk Weitere Informationen. Plus de Marques sur Jumelles Miniature un Cadeau de plus d'information est. Еще Маркировка на миниатюрных Бинокли является Дар дополнительная информация. ミニチュア双眼鏡に関する詳しいマーキングは、詳細情報のギフトであります. Fler Märkning på Miniatyr Kikare är en Gåva av Mer Information. Más marcas en Prismáticos Miniatura es un Regalo de Más Información. Più Marcature sui Binocolo in Miniatura Sono un Dono di Maggiori Informazioni.

Once in a while a pair of binoculars shows up with an unusual abundance of markings. This can be quite illuminating. In this case multiple name variations are illustrated for both the distributing and manufacturing entities.

Vixen 6x15 IF binoculars

The front pivot has the MSC logo of the anglicized name of the Japanese manufacturer “ M eiji S eiko Co Ltd” also known as “ M eiji S eiko K ogaku” and 明治精工株式会社.

The right hand prism cover has the logo for the Japanese brand Vixen of Koyu Co which renamed itself “Vixen Co Ltd.”in 1970 ( ビクセン).

A prism cover has the MSK logo of the traditional name of the Japanese manufacturer “ M eiji S eiko K ogaku” also known as “ M eiji S eiko Co Ltd” and 明治精工株式会社.