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Japanese naval binoculars

Date: 1930-1940s
Overall: 535 x 435 mm, 17.3 kg
Medium: Brass, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Binoculars
Object No: 00015735
Place Manufactured:Nihon

User Terms

    These World War II Japanese naval binoculars belonged to Lieutenant Commander B T Edgerton, RAN. They were manufactured by Nikko, a Japanese optical manufacturer. These naval binoculars were designed for locating, spotting and tracking aircraft and also for spotting anti-aircraft gun bursts. The binoculars have fifteen power magnification and a 4 degree field of view.
    SignificanceThese binoculars provide an important historical record of the types of equipment used by the Royal Australian Navy during World War II.
    HistoryThe design and production of optical glass began in Japan in 1918. The Nippon Kogaku Japanese optical glass manufacturing company was formed in 1917 when Fujii Brothers joined Iwaki Glass and Tokyo Keiki Seisaku Sho to manufacture optical munitions. The company became known as Nikko - an abbreviation of the company's name and this mark was used on binoculars during World War II. In 1918 over 15, 000 prism binoculars were exported by Nippon Kogaku to America, France, England and Russia. In 1921 a group of eight German engineers and scientists were hired to redesign Nippon Kogaku binoculars. In 1921 they produced two new models called Luscar and Mikron and in 1923 released the Orion and Nova series of binoculars. During the 1930s Nippon Kogaku produced the Imperial Army NCO field binocular type 93, which was issued to all non commissioned officers in the Japanese Army. During World War II both Nikko and Tokyo Kogaku Kikai, another Japanese optical manufacturer, produced the largest number of large military binoculars. The design of the giant binoculars used by the United States army was largely copied from captured Japanese models.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Japanese navy binoculars

    Web title: Japanese naval binoculars

    Related People
    Maker: Nikko

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