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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

British Binoculars what is this emblem


arantxa
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What is that little squiggle on wheel and their is a No 18 or 16 what does that stand fir 

thanks 

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The engraving on the pivot is a trademark of the Wray optical company (a stylised W).  It was a small company by European standards making quality optical instruments in Britain.  Both world wars led to a surge in production, as the U.K. was never self sufficient for such instruments and, before WW1 had in any case relied upon Germany to supplement the small British industry.  The war shut off that source, but the slack was taken up by French manufacturers.  Wray binoculars were considered premium instruments and there is a thriving collectors market for them.  The x6 designation to indicate a measure of magnification was introduced around the turn of the century and after the war the measure for the objective diameter was added.  The British Army favoured 6x30 as a good compromise between good magnification and a decent field of view.  Sadly the Wray company no longer exists, it’s demise paralleling, like so many commercial commodities with the decline of Empire and influence.  See:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wray_(lenses)

The number alongside the mark is a serial number and the crows foot (arrow) a mark indicating war office issue.

They are prismatic type binoculars with the other type popular at the time being Galilean, many of which were French made.  Another famous British manufacturer at that time was the Ross company, but there were others such as Barr & Stroud and Heath.  

The large yellow painted arrows were a feature of Admiralty issue.  The quality of these binoculars was very good and my comrades and I were still using 6x30 issue prismatic binoculars virtually identical, but with WW2 dates, at the Mortar Division of the School of Infantry in the late 1980s.

I cannot see an 18 or 16 but it’s probably that year of manufacture.  This type of binocular began its introduction from 1915 onward.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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You can see the trademark, which varied over time, in the lid of these binoculars.  In its simplest form it was the plain W doubled in an Art Deco style.

 

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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Hi Thank you for such a super reply..sorry for delay in reply

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