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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 17:59   #1
Kowaist
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US-Army WWII glasses code identification

Hi,

greetings from Germany in "Salute to service" month

I am awaiting delivery of a army glass, that found its was to ebay Germany over the decades... Has anyone forgotten something in '45 here

The glass is the 7x50 M15 Westinghouse year 1944 (B&L ingedients), and extra marked with H.M.R. What does that stand for?

thanks
Harry

Last edited by Kowaist : Thursday 16th November 2017 at 07:22.
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 00:36   #2
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Hello Harry,

You ask an interesting question, one asked by collectors, and one without a definitive answer. I believe that that they are the initials of a U.S. Army office who accepted the binoculars as fit for military service. As his initials appear on both Westinghouse and Kelvinator binoculars, I further believe that the actual inspections were done by lower level workers, employed by the War Department.

Other have suggested other explanations.

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Arthur Pinewood
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 07:11   #3
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my glass and another where I habe seen the pictures show clearly that the HMR was put on by the factory inititally during production, while the "1944" was put on in a second step.

Or did Her Majesties Royal (Army) get the delivery...?

or, maybe, by the weight of the 7x50: Heavy metal rock?

What was it like in war production these days? Did the "electric company" Westinghouse build the metal parts and the lenses came from B&L or a smaller optical company? Design was clearly B&L, I assume...

In Germany the WWII army glasses dont carry the explicit company name, but "Dienstglas" and a three letter code for the maker. (blc for Zeiss Jena e.g.) But these makers were all the reknown optical companies these days.. And they were good, see "Operation Paperclip" after 1945...

thanks
Harry

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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 13:10   #4
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Harald, I hope this will help you a little bit:

http://www.company7.com/library/sard_7x50_mk.html

Unfortunately I couldn't find anything about US inspector marks on US-made binos produced during WWII like we had it in Germany.

Obviously there were only inspector marks meant for firearms:

https://www.dwjmedien.de/US-Military...nspector-Marks

In Gemany literally every piece of junk being produced to let the war machinery run and keep it running had inspector marks engraved or punched.

German production marks are always feeding the discussion between collectors:

https://www.amazon.de/VISIER-Deutsch.../dp/3944196031
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 18:40   #5
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"I believe that that they are the initials of a U.S. Army office who accepted the binoculars as fit for military service. As his initials appear on both Westinghouse and Kelvinator binoculars, I further believe that the actual inspections were done by lower level workers, employed by the War Department." - I agree with Arthur that these are an Army inspector's initials, and the inspector (probably a Colonel or Lt Colonel) surely would not have personally inspected every binocular, this being done by his team. R.L.B and F.S.A. are two other inspector's initials frequently seen on U.S. Army WW II binoculars.

Germany began phasing in 3 letter coding of binoculars in November 1940 and the system was in place for most makers by later 1941. Before that company trademarks/names appeared on binoculars. Dienstglas (service glass) was usually marked on Army (Heer) binoculars and only very rarely on Navy (Kriegsmarine) ones.

"What was it like in war production these days? Did the "electric company" Westinghouse build the metal parts and the lenses came from B&L or a smaller optical company? Design was clearly B&L, I assume" - Yes, Westinghouse would have made most of the metal parts in particular the body and assembled the binocular while the optical components would have been supplied to them from elsewhere. Bausch & Lomb did provide some optical components to makers, but the WW II American optical component production and supply system was a lot more complicated than supposed with many different companies being mobilized for the war effort involved in research and development and making optical glass, prisms and lenses. Almost all U.S. WW II made handheld binoculars followed a 1930's B&L design but during the war significant refinements on the design manifested as Army M#'s and Navy Mark #'s were made by other companies such as Kollsman Instruments (Sard), Spencer Optical, Anchor Optical, Universal Camera etc.

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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 20:43   #6
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When did the US compnies start with T-coating for Binos? What I know is that in Germany, the Patent of amr. Smakula / Zeiss was from 1935, but you can rarely find coated lenses produced before 1945. Therewere coated products before 1945, but only for military equipment, not for comsumers...

Will my 1944 M15 be coated, pictures on ebay would tell so...

Could it be "headquarter modification request" , found this in an abbr. dict. for HMR...
Maybe the added coating or such thing? Somthing like M15 Mark2 (the world as Canon sees it...)

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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 20:49   #7
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Hello Harry,

You wrote that it was dated 1944, so they were coated. Of course, some soldier might have cleaned the coating off, but the internal surfaces would still be coated.

Happy collecting,
Arthur
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 21:28   #8
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Zeiss apparently started coating lenses in 1933 but were not allowed to reveal this and the patent was delayed.

Taylor Hobson had various coatings from the early 1900s but initially chemical coating.
They actually knew about coatings in the 1890s I think.

Early coatings were soft and easily removed by cleaning.

Aero Ektars were hard coated from 1940 as were some Kodak eyepieces.
Lenses with a yellow dot are Kodak coatings, no dot and they were coated in other shadow factories.
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 23:02   #9
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U.S. Army and Navy binoculars made 1944 and 1945 should pretty much all be coated and some made earlier in the war will be too either because they were coated upon manufacture or in many cases retrofitted with coated optics during the war or afterward. The Germans were the first to mass produce AR coated handheld binoculars during the 1930's following Smakula's research but Americans and British scientists weren't far behind and by the end of the war the Americans had manufactured more AR coated binoculars than the Germans did. By 1944 Americans had developed the capacity to mass produce them for both their Army and Navy while the Germans were able to do so mostly for the Kriegsmarine instead of the army. Commercially made binoculars with AR coatings were not marketed in any country until after the war.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 00:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPT View Post
U.S. Army and Navy binoculars made 1944 and 1945 should pretty much all be coated and some made earlier in the war will be too either because they were coated upon manufacture or in many cases retrofitted with coated optics during the war or afterward. The Germans were the first to mass produce AR coated handheld binoculars during the 1930's following Smakula's research but Americans and British scientists weren't far behind and by the end of the war the Americans had manufactured more AR coated binoculars than the Germans did. By 1944 Americans had developed the capacity to mass produce them for both their Army and Navy while the Germans were able to do so mostly for the Kriegsmarine instead of the army. Commercially made binoculars with AR coatings were not marketed in any country until after the war.
And the main difference between the Army and Navy binos of the era was that the Army glasses were painted dark pea green.

I believe you will find the Navy Mk 28 to be the Army M15 A1. Many previous models had ocular sleeves that screwed into the body THROUGH thin backplates. If anyone knows better, please speak up. After a good cry and a couple of trips to the shrink, I'll be good as knew.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 07:12   #11
Johann Gambolputty
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@Kowaist: You should place your question here: http://binopedia.info/

There is s good chance that someone can help you.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 17:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowaist View Post
my glass and another where I habe seen the pictures show clearly that the HMR was put on by the factory inititally during production, while the "1944" was put on in a second step.

Or did Her Majesties Royal (Army) get the delivery...?


thanks
Harry
HMRC is Her Majesties Revenue and Customs, the taxman...
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 23:16   #13
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H.M.R. might really be a name, as I think in english (the native speakers might correct me) normal acronyms for companies or intitutions are written without dots (USA, GM, RAF...) and abbr. Names often with Dots...

OK?
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 12:00   #14
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now the "Corpus delicti" has arrived.

Last stop of his bino life before coming here to Würzburg was Greifswald, Northeast near Poland and near Peenemünde former Rocket center (Mr von Braun worked here before moving to Houston)

Shape is quite OK, alignment still perfect at least before star testing. Coating is still there, small polishing scratches on the front lenses. Inside is clean, but glass was surely "serviced" in its lifetime, the inner screws have dents of opening...

Optics is fine, there some greeninsh tint in the picture, was this originally so for fog contrast enhancement? Certainly a reasonable usable glass by todays standards. The field of view is significantly bigger than its later "copy" the Pentax BIF 7x50 (JB2) ...

Picture: Coating
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 12:07   #15
Kowaist
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Westinghouse M15 A1 H.M.R. 1944

What does the later marked A1 stand for?
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 12:13   #16
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left cover: 7x50 embossed and remains of a decal

edit: found a M15 on ebay past auctions which still had the complete sticker:

This instrument has "Coated Optics"
Clean lenses carefully
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 23:26   #17
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Westinghouse M15 A1 H.M.R. 1944

What does the later marked A1 stand for?
Hello Harry,

The US Army [confusingly, often abbreviated as USA] gave model numbers to various devices. Binocular M3, M4, M5, etc. Should there be a modification "A1," was added. I have an M13 binocular, the M13A1, was improved with better waterproofing,
The US Navy designated each new as Mark 1, Mark 2, etc. If there was an improvement a model number was added. My 7x50 binocular is a Mark 28, model 0.
Is that clear?

Happy collecting,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 07:41   #18
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Hello Harry,

The US Army [confusingly, often abbreviated as USA] gave model numbers to various devices. Binocular M3, M4, M5, etc. Should there be a modification "A1," was added. I have an M13 binocular, the M13A1, was improved with better waterproofing,
The US Navy designated each new as Mark 1, Mark 2, etc. If there was an improvement a model number was added. My 7x50 binocular is a Mark 28, model 0.
Is that clear?

Happy collecting,
Arthur

Hi Athur,

yes, certainly. My question was if anyone knows the modification... But now I found it, see below...


My M15 was certainly used for long a time. My theory is that it ended in the GDR after the war and it was readly used as new Zeiss Jena Binos were expensive and not so easy to buy for oridinary people... My glass might have been in good use by a hunter. It was partly repainted, probable cleaned inside, has cleaning marks in the front lenses.... And is still doing its job, really a fine optics still, much better than some abundand japanese crap of the 1970s... Only the oculars turn very easily . The mechnism should get some grease, but I dont know how the remove the Eyepieces.

greetings
Harry

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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 08:22   #19
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Just found this, very helpful..

Complete Ordnance maintenance book of all M-binoculars.... 1955

http://www.liberatedmanuals.com/TM-9-1580.pdf

300 pages, just looking in... very helpful!

Waht I found is tha the M15A1 is a M15 where "filter M1" was added. If the service puts in M1 holders it had to add the A1 mark. But mine has afaik no M1 holder so maybe the was removed later.

Coating of all Ms ist Magnesium fluoride.

Link with a lot of photos and types of WWII bi os of all kinds and countries:
http://www.opticalrepairs.com/ww2_binocular_repairs.htm

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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 13:29   #20
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The original M15 had rubber eyecups with built in flip out filters. In the A1 these eyecups were replaced with plastic ones with circular grooves to accept a snap-on one piece variable density filter: https://www.flickr.com/photos/binocw...7623234405689/

Here you can see on the left eyepiece a rubber eyecup similar to the one on the M15 and on the right eyepiece the plastic one with grooves for a filter which should be like the one on your M15A1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/binocw...-8ZUJWo-wukkYV

And here's an example of a U.S. Navy Coated Optics labelled binocular: https://www.flickr.com/photos/binocw...-xDMqds-xXnBP7 The Army labels may have looked a little different.

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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 17:03   #21
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Thanks for links and pictures. yes, mine is therfore a true A1, has the original A1 eycups as seen right in the picture...

I still have not figured out if there is a way for me to relubricate the eyepieces with minimal work.

Do I have just to remove the screw in the picture and them loosen the ring with the number on it?
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 17:33   #22
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Yes, remove the small screw then unscrew and remove the ring with a number on it. Then the focus ring with diopter scaled is simply pulled off. I believe you will then see an aluminum or brass ring screwed into the top of the ocular tube. Unscrew and remove this ring. Then the eyepiece cel can be unscrewed and removed from the ocular tube for cleaning and relubricating the threading, but when unscrewing the eyepiece just before it comes free from the ocular tube make a small witness mark on it so that when you reinsert it into the ocular tube after cleaning you'll be able to put it back in the exact same location it came out.
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Old Sunday 19th November 2017, 18:06   #23
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thanks!

Will take some weeks until I can try it as I first need the grease...

Nice B&L ad from 1946:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/1946-BAUSCH-...cAAOSw-kdXzuHC
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