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Swift Price List Pre 1973

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Old Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 15:31   #1
Bencw
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Swift Price List Pre 1973

Might be of interest, I found this in my Storm King MK11 case, the advert for the storm king is 1973, it was then top of the range, the most expensive at 115+, but the price list I think must pre-date 1973, my guess is maybe 1968?
It shows the original Audubon, but what surprised me is that the Swift Vulcan was actually dearer than the Audubon. Now I have them both, the Vulcan is a nice binocular but just one look at the build quality of both tells me that that no way could the Vulcan, with it's plastic prism plates have been more expensive to make than the Audubon surely? Having thought about that, probably just the buyer market, I guess it was the 60s, when people were throwing out fine oak furniture and buying chipboard and plastic !!
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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 08:27   #2
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How do I read a price such as 39.10.0 (I mean the 10.0 part)?
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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 09:07   #3
Bencw
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How do I read a price such as 39.10.0 (I mean the 10.0 part)?

The prices are British Sterling before decimilisation ( pre 1971 ) so in pounds, shillings and pence, The price is 39 pounds and 10 shillings and zero pence. There were 20 shillings in one pound.
so for example, 25.7.6 would have been 25 pounds, 7 shillings and 6 pence. At decimilisation, 1 became 100 new pence, I remember it well, overnight everything seemed to become twice as expensive !!!

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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 14:35   #4
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There were 12 pennies in a shilling.
Halfpennies
And farthings, 1/4 pennies. These are useful as very small.
There were also threepenny pieces and sixpenny pieces, which the tooth fairy left under your pillow.

Half crowns are two shillings and sixpence, I think and florins also.
Crowns were later made as commemorative, but legal lender.

I found an enormous twopenny piece in my garden from the 1700s?

There is an actress called Tuppence I think.

Then we had guineas, 21 shillings, which posh folk used.

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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 16:21   #5
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I think I still have some pennies around, I still have two ten shilling notes and two old one pound notes - my savings I recall when this price list was current you could go out and have a couple of pints and a pie and have change from a 10 bob note, so those binoculars were expensive back then..
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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 17:29   #6
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The first job that I had gave me six pounds a week.

I think my pocket money as a kid was about a shilling a week, but I'm not sure.

The Broadhurst Clarkson 3 inch Starboy refractor cost 28-10-0, ordered in 1956 and delivered in 1957 after I paid in instalments.

And I think the 25 to 40x 2 1/4 inch Broadhurst Clarkson drawtube scope in leather cover, which is still in very good condition cost around 14.
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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 18:33   #7
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Originally Posted by Bencw View Post
Might be of interest, I found this in my Storm King MK11 case, the advert for the storm king is 1973, it was then top of the range, the most expensive at 115+, but the price list I think must pre-date 1973, my guess is maybe 1968?
It shows the original Audubon, but what surprised me is that the Swift Vulcan was actually dearer than the Audubon. Now I have them both, the Vulcan is a nice binocular but just one look at the build quality of both tells me that that no way could the Vulcan, with it's plastic prism plates have been more expensive to make than the Audubon surely? Having thought about that, probably just the buyer market, I guess it was the 60s, when people were throwing out fine oak furniture and buying chipboard and plastic !!
Hi Ben,

As I read it, the Pyser-Britex Storm King ad shows a s/n = 73 (78?) xxxx, which suggests that the binocular was made 1973 or 1978. However, it must have been made in the mid- to late- 1990s due to having full multi-coatings (FMC) and rubber eyecups. So, the s/n is misleading.

My 1969 Swift Instruments catalog (USA) shows the Model 718 Vulcan (FOV = 525') having an MSRP of $142.95 compared with the Audubon's $132. However, the standard Vulcan (FOV=?) was only $124.50.

Hope it helps,

Ed
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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 18:50   #8
Bencw
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Hi Ben,

As I read it, the Pyser-Britex Storm King ad shows a s/n = 73 (78?) xxxx, which suggests that the binocular was made 1973 or 1978. However, it must have been made in the mid- to late- 1990s due to having full multi-coatings (FMC) and rubber eyecups. After all, Zeiss didn't invent multi-coatings until 1988. So, the s/n is misleading.

My 1969 Swift Instruments catalog (USA) shows the Model 718 Vulcan (FOV = 525') having an MSRP of $142.95 compared with the Audubon's $132. However, the standard Vulcan (FOV=?) was only $124.50.

Hope it helps,

Ed
Hi Ed,

Puzzled, on the back of the Storm King ad, the page is dated 1973 ? It is from a motor boat and yachting mag published in August 1973? So the binocular must be 1973, and as you see the ad states multi coating. My Storm King MK11 is 1974 and it has rubber eye cups and Multi Coated on it.

Ben

Ben

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Old Thursday 3rd November 2016, 19:41   #9
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Ben,

Sorry, I'm fogged up today from an overactive sleeping pill. Note that I deleted the sentence "After all, Zeiss didn't invent multi-coatings until 1988," I was thinking of P-coating. Swift was using rubber eyecups since the early 1970s, and muliti-coatings during the early 1980's. The first Audubon with MC, however, only showed up in the US in 1985 (Brit versions were using MC a few years before). Still, for a validated 1973 Storm King ad, as well as your 1974 Storm King specimen, to have full multi-coatings is very surprising, to say the least. None of my Swift catalog materials show the use of MC or FMC prior to the early 1980s.

Ed
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 08:59   #10
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Hi Ed,

Ah yes, Zeiss P coatings, I can see now. Thanks. Yes, the Storm King MK11 seems ahead of the game in 73, perhaps some merit to Swifts claim at the time that it was "the finest Marine binocular ever produced" . Although I think the guy's that made the WW11 Sard 6X42 and Zeiss 8x60 might argue with that.

Ben
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 18:01   #11
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Ben,

Would you mind posting pictures of your Storm King, and also try to identify the Japanese manufacturer(s)? The more I look at the ad the more it seems like a small body version that was introduced in the 1980s. The flare of the objective tubes is very suggestive, but the location of the strap lugs and tripod connector would help a lot.

Leaving aside the serial numbers, what other hard evidence do you have that the binocular/ad are from the early 1970s?
(I don't see a picture of it in the 1973? Pyser catalog you posted.)

Thanks,
Ed
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 18:32   #12
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Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Ben,

Would you mind posting pictures of your Storm King, and also try to identify the Japanese manufacturer(s)? The more I look at the ad the more it seems like a small body version that was introduced in the 1980s. The flare of the objective tubes is very suggestive, but the location of the strap lugs and tripod connector would help a lot.

Leaving aside the serial numbers, what other hard evidence do you have that the binocular/ad are from the early 1970s?
(I don't see a picture of it in the 1973? Pyser catalog you posted.)

Thanks,
Ed
Hi Ed,
The pyser catologue is I think sometime in the 1960s not 73, it's pre- 73 ? The Storm King MK11 came out in 1973. The only evidence of that is the date on the magazine page the ad is in? 17 August 1973, it's on the back of the page, I think that is pretty conclusive, the advert for the Storm King is from 1973 certain sure, no doubt.
My Storm King was Made by Katsuma Kogaku Kikai Co Japan, JB2. Photo attached, you can see the serial number clearly.

Ben.
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 20:04   #13
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Ben,

I've attached pg. 5 from Swift Instrument's 1969 catalog showing Model 717 Storm King Mark II. So, it was introduced well before 1973. Although all the Mk II models had "... a specially formulated ultra-hard coating," there is no mention of multi-coatings at that time. Also note from Humphrey Swift's 1968 letter that 1968-9 was the year the Storm King was introduced.

Supporting the belief that your specimen is FMC, and made in 1973, our database has FMC entries from 1973 through 1984, which includes the armored version.

That's about all I can find, but the use of FMC that early is still very curious. Do the coatings appear to be equivalent to the HR/5 Audubon models made by Hiyoshi Kogaku in the early 90s? I would think the 55 deg. AFOV would border on tunnel vision with limited spatial depth.

Ed
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 20:36   #14
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Well, something more. The 1980 Swift instruments catalog (below, left) indicates that the two Storm King models had hard magenta coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. How can this be consistent with them being FMC models six years earlier? Very strange.

PS. Just located the 1974 catalog, pg. 6 below on right. The Storm King doesn't look quite like yours, and had magenta coatings.

What I'm suspecting is that the first two digits of the s/n were not the issue date of this model, possibly because it was a different manufacturer than Hiyoshi Kogaku.

Ed
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 22:51   #15
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Ben,

Do you still have the 17 August 1973 magazine? 1993 would make more sense.

Just askin ...

Ed
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Old Saturday 5th November 2016, 09:39   #16
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Ben,

Do you still have the 17 August 1973 magazine? 1993 would make more sense.

Just askin ...

Ed
Hi ED,

Thanks for all the info.
Ha,Ha, no it's not 1993 , I have the page torn from the mag, the date on it is 17 August 1973, I know my eyes are not so good these days but not that bad yet Folded page so you can see.

My Storm King MK11 is designated BIF just like the 73 ad, I see the ones in your brochure are just IF? If it helps my one also has different coatings, a lovely deep green coating, similar coating
I think to the later HR5?. No tunnel vision, excellent view with superb depth of field, it is just very heavy that is the one and only neg.

Perhaps this model was only released in Europe, is that a possible explanation ?

Ben

PS: Well, I have just sold my Storm King, my HR5 went last week, expect I might regret it, but I really need to make some space, my collection is too big and choosing which ones to go gets pretty hard, I like them all for one reason or another.
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Old Saturday 5th November 2016, 19:36   #17
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Ben,

As far as I can imagine, there's no other explanation for it. The european Storm King models had more advanced coatings than those marketed in the US. Frankly, I'm surprised that any manufacturer was using FMC optics that early.

To show how long this difference lasted between the US and European models, I've attached pics from a current eBay offering. Note that these were made in 1988, but were not even partially multicoated; that's 15 yrs! The objective reflections bear it out.

Incidentally, the US versions were also listed as BIF; "B" referring to adjustable eyecups.

Thanks for the discussion; apparently it was our last chance to do it.

Regards,
Ed

PS. This is also consistent with the MC European HR/5 Swift Audubon being marketed a few years earlier in the 1980s than the American 804R that hit the market in 1985.
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