British Army Monocular

Last year I picked up a rather nice leather case for a monocular and ever since I have been keeping an eye out for the monocular to put inside it. Earlier this year I got lucky and picked up a slightly incomplete example for very little money and so it has been very nice to be able to reunite the two elements.

A monocular is effectively half a pair of binoculars, being just one set of lenses to allow it to be used over one eye rather than both eyes together. By halving the size of the instrument, the weight is also halved and the use of refracting lenses rather than relay lenses means it is much shorter than a traditional telescope. The downside of the monocular is that it doesn’t allow for depth perception in the way that a pair of binoculars would. The British Army monocular shares the same shape and design as one barrel of the standard British prismatic binoculars:

There is an eyepiece at one end, with a dial top adjust the focal length to bring objects into focus. This example is missing the little screw on cap to provide eye relief unfortunately:

The barrel of the monocular is marked here with the serial number and designation which in this case it is a Monocular, Prismatic, No 1A Mk II:

The front of the monocular has a large /|\ property mark on it:

A single loops is provided on the rear of the barrel to allow a lanyard loop to be fitted so that the binocular doesn’t become lost when outside of the case:

Monoculars were used in both World Wars and offered a cheaper and lighter alternative to binoculars, although they were never as common. The use of hand held monoculars declined after the war as more modern binoculars became smaller, lighter and more robust.

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