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Zeiss Periscope 10 X 50


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The German military used the Zeiss Periscope for surveillance at the Berlin Wall during the Cold War from 1965 to 1989. Periscope binoculars were typically mounted on armored reconnaissance vehicles without the tripod, while those with a tripod were mounted in watchtowers along the Berlin Wall. They were used in covert surveillance as it allowed viewing without being seen, much like using a periscope in a submarine.

Also known as the Richtungsweiser-Doppelfernrohr 10×50, it was manufactured in former West Germany by Carl Zeiss Oberkochen.

During WWII, the original Carl Zeiss factory was in Jena, Germany, which was occupied in 1945 by the U.S., but with the agreement between the Allies and the Soviet Union, Jena ended up in the Soviet Sector. America did not want such a technologically advanced company to fall in the hands of the Soviets.

Under operation, "We take the brains," 84 managers and scientists from Carl Zeiss were transported to Germany's American sector to the town of Oberkochen.

By 1946 the former employees founded Carl Zeiss Oberkochen. Carl Zeiss in Jena still operated and became Carl Zeiss Jena in 1948. Oberkochen served Western markets, and Jena helped Eastern markets.

Zeiss was a pioneer in the optics world in Germany and is credited with being the first to implement multi-coated lenses which reduced glare and better resisted scratches, which are both important on the battlefield.

The Periscope 10 X 50 was designed by Zeiss to overcome inefficiencies of the 1894 "donkey ears" binoculars that proved to be problematic during WWII. They required constant adjusting when moved from place to place. The Periscope binocular gave the same results but with one solid piece instead of two separate lenses.

It was used for observation purposes, and includes precision angled prismatic lenses that can be adjusted to see almost anything on land or sea. It is rare to find optics of this quality as collectors seem to hold on to them for the outstanding craftsmanship you expect from Zeiss.

Collectors love the design and style of this Periscope and how stunning it looks in any environment. If found in its original condition, a professional polisher can remove the original paint and shine the steel and aluminum construction to a brilliant finish. The difference between the before and after is remarkable.

These rare pieces find themselves on decks of lodges for an afternoon of bird watching, or in a desert oasis where the stars fill the night sky. The angled prismatic lenses allow a wide range for viewing above and below the ocean horizon, for spectacular whale watching excursions.

Wherever this piece finds its home in your collection, it will create a statement of distinction as a functional piece of art that will surely never go unnoticed.



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