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Paulboll

WWI Lemaire Paris Military Field Binoculars

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Paulboll

Hi All,

I own below.

I'd like some Info on WWI Lemaire Paris Military Field Binoculars, i don't have a case for them, does anyone know if the cases were made in France or England with stamp a Lemaire Paris stamp? or were they sold with any leather case.

Any help would be great.

Paul

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Lancashire Fusilier

Paul,

Lemaire are well known French binocular makers, they also made other optical products including Opera Glasses.

It is not unusual to see mismatched WW1 binoculars/leather cases, as military binoculars were very much in short supply, so the British turned to their Allies for assistance with supplies of military binoculars and one of those main suppliers were the French.

Often, you will see a WW1 British leather case with ' WD ' markings, housing a set of French binoculars.

No doubt, Lemaire provided leather cases for their optical products, however, for their military binoculars provided to the British, they probably did not provide matching leather cases, as these were probably provided by British leather product suppliers.

Regards,

LF

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Paulboll

Thanks very much LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Paul,

Here is a case in point, currently for sale :-

" A fine example of a WWI dated set of Army Binoculars with their leather case.
The binoculars are of French construction by Lemaire of Paris. They have very nice clean optics and have the broad arrow War Department engraved with the number 38565. The case is by the British maker John Bennett Green and it also has the broad arrow and is dated 1916. The binoculars have been issued with the owners details on it. "

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Khaki

Nice photo LF

khaki

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Lancashire Fusilier

Nice photo LF

khaki

khaki,

Not mine personally, but I agree, it does illustrate the French binoculars in the British case well.

Regards,

LF

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Paulboll

Thanks again.

I do have a Binoculars case stamped H.M. FRASER, size of case Measuring 11.5cms high by 17cms wide, any idea which Binoculars would have gone with this case

and who the case maker was.

I also have Binoculars by A. Kershaw & Son 1918.

I will take photos of my Binoculars to show you.

Any help with the case would be great.

Paul

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Edited by Paulboll

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Lancashire Fusilier

Paul,

Here is some information on A. Kershaw and Sons Ltd.

A. Kershaw and Sons Ltd.
" Founded by Abraham Kershaw (1861-1929) in Leeds in 1888, manufacturing and repairing scientific equipment; began to produce photographic equipment in early 1900s; moved to large site in Harehills Lane, Leeds in 1916; set up Kershaw Projector Company, in 1917, handling marketing of projectors and cine equipment, later becoming Kalee Limited; following first world war established strong links with Marion and Company; 1921 joined amalgamation 'Paget Photographic Manufacturers Ltd', diverting part of their manufacturing to producing Apem and Soho cameras; Kershaws left the APM group in 1928 but continued to manufacture and sell cameras through its dominant partnership in the successor company Soho Ltd; manufactured binoculars and optical equipment during second world war; subsiduary Kalee Ltd linked with Gaumont British Group to become GB-Kalee Limited; Kershaws continued to manufacture cameras post war but was taken over by British Optical and Precision Engineers Limited (BOPE), a subsiduary of the Rank Organisation, in 1947; shortly after Rank and Gaumont British ordered Kershaws to concentrate on manufacture of cinema projection equipment and drop production of binoculars and cameras; company declined, with Rank selling off a lot of plant in early 1960s, until only a caretaker was employed by 1981."
Nice binoculars, and you should have no problem finding suitable cases, they are available on line. Likewise based on the dimensions of the case you have, you should be able to find a set of binoculars which fit that case, again they are available on line.
Regards,
LF

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Paulboll

Thanks for the help LF,

Do you think H.M. FRASER is the owner or the maker ?

Thanks

Again

Paul

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Lancashire Fusilier

Do you think H.M. FRASER is the owner or the maker ?

Paul

Do you have a photo of the name stamp ?

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Paulboll

See photo it looks more like a name rather than a company,

My binoculars by A. Kershaw and Sons Ltd. have a name on them.

Paul

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Edited by Paulboll

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Lancashire Fusilier

Paul,

Both are names of previous owners, not makers, and can probably be traced.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Paul,

On WW1 Military use leather items, the Maker's Mark is usually embossed into the leather and is often also dated.

Example attached on a .455 cartridge pouch in my Collection.

Regards,

LF

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MikB

The Lemaire is a Galilean glass of a design dating back to the 1880s-90s. They didn't exceed 5x magnification and were usually 3 - 4x. This one was adopted into military service as an 'S3', which denoted 'High-grade Galileans'.

The Kershaw is, I think an early No.3 Mk.I of Ross design - note that the hinge components are just extensions of the prism case end plates. This puts a lot of stress on the securing screws, and the design was soon changed - nevertheless many of these glasses seem to have survived well.

Regards,

MikB

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Paulboll

Thanks Very much for this info MikB,

Do you have any idea which type of Binoculars would fit in this case, case Measuring 11.5cms high by 17cms wide of the ww1 era.

Paul

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MikB

Does the Kershaw fit into the case? The fastening looks like one I've seen in American designs such as Bausch & Lomb, but I don't have much knowledge of cases.

The fact is that the British Army on the Western Front was a melting-pot for binoculars and cases - there was such a huge shortage at the beginning of the war that instruments were acquired from anywhere they were available. Some were purchased or donated and officially adopted into service under an 'S.<n>' grade, others provided by officers and men for themselves. Almost anything of the right age could've been there.

The Kershaw was certainly a military glass - note the 'Graticules 1/2 deg. apart and 1/2, 1 and 1 1/2 deg. high' detail - these could provide simple stadiametric rangefinding as 1 degree equates to about 5 feet per 100 yards distance, so (eg.) a soldier seen to be just taller than the 1/2 degree line would be about 200 yards away.

Regards,

MikB

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Paulboll

Hi MikB,

See photo.

The Kershaw Binoculars were purchase with the case, they are in the bigger case on the left, The one on the right is a small Binoculars case which purchae on its own.

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Edited by Paulboll

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Lancashire Fusilier

Paul,

It is nice to see your Kershaw's being clearly dated 1918 for WW1, as I have seen inaccurate reports that Kershaw only started making binoculars for WW2.

Regards,

LF

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Khaki

Thanks again.

I do have a Binoculars case stamped H.M. FRASER, size of case Measuring 11.5cms high by 17cms wide, any idea which Binoculars would have gone with this case

and who the case maker was.

I also have Binoculars by A. Kershaw & Son 1918.

I will take photos of my Binoculars to show you.

Any help with the case would be great.

Hello Paul,

Nice photo's can you tell me what the numbering on the 'barrel' of the binoculars mean? I have a very similar pair, sans the leather coverings and the arrow has a small N (navy) under it.

thanks

khaki

Paul

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Paulboll

Hi khaki,

Sorry I am no expert on the Binoculars i have, MikB has allot of info drop his a PM.

Regards

Paul

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MikB

Hello Paul,

Nice photo's can you tell me what the numbering on the 'barrel' of the binoculars mean? I have a very similar pair, sans the leather coverings and the arrow has a small N (navy) under it.

thanks

khaki

Paul

'S3' means 'Special, Grade 3', Specials being civilian glasses accepted for military either by purchase, loan or donation. From a telescope I have, I think purchase may have been denoted by a '(P)'. Grade 3 was high-grade Galileans, as mentioned above.

The number is a registration number, supposedly unique and intended to facilitate return of loaned instruments after the war - though I've never heard of this being done and frankly doubt it was ever attempted, considering its much greater than expected duration, expenditure in lives and resources, and dislocation.

Regards,

MikB

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Khaki

Thanks Mike.

That's really pleased me, as the bino's were given to me by an uncle I was very close to, and I am pleased to say that they survived in excellent condition not only the GW but all the imaginary battles that I fought as a child. I checked again following your post and they are indeed b/arrow 'N' with S3 xxxxx.

thanks again

khaki

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