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This is an exceptionally rare little item and I have never seen one prior to this. Based on a trench periscope of the type used at the Siege of Mafeking during the Boer War - they have called this a Hyposcope. I expect periscopes , of some type, must have been in use for many years prior to this date of 1900 - however, the idea of making them small was to be put to good use in the trenches during World War 1 (1914-18).

This is not the type used at Mafeking - which would have been bigger and have been made in the local workshops. This is a tin type with silk screened lettering and would have been sold to the crowds at the Coronation Procession of King Edward 7th. in 1902. They still make and sell these at State occasions in London - but nowdays, they are of cardboard. The principle - of course - is two mirrors on opposing sides which reflect the image from the top to the bottom and in the process give added height to the viewer to see over the heads of crowds.

Although a little worn from age, it is still a rare and interesting piece and over 108 years old.

Remeber if it is a little small - Hugh's advice - Ctrl and + to enlarge. Ctrl and - to reduce.

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I've seen such items but nothing of this age, a very impressive and interesting piece of equipment. Periscopes were also fastened to a framework along with a rifle for snipers during WWI. There are lots of photos showing this on the internet so no need for me to photograph one from a book now.

Regards

Brian

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That is just fantastic.

I have a few periscopes from the Great War and one made of card especially for the King's coronation in 1937 which shows the route taken, but have never seen one as nice as that.

You come across some really good items Mervyn.

Tony

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I've only ever seen the old WWI miltary periscopes - the British Transport Police in Peterborough used to use a 1917 dated one during the 1980's/90's for surveying criminal activity in the car park on the other side of the wall around the rear of their police station.

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I've only ever seen the old WWI miltary periscopes - the British Transport Police in Peterborough used to use a 1917 dated one during the 1980's/90's for surveying criminal activity in the car park on the other side of the wall around the rear of their police station.

Nothing like being a transport copper at the top end of technology eh. Life before CCTV I suppose.

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Hello Mervyn

In my Boer War collecting days, I owned a "hyposcope" similar to this, except that it was painted khaki and had quaint instructions on "observing from behind "cover"". It was obviously meant for service use, except that it would have been pretty useless as it was only about eight inches long. Unfortunately I haven't kept a photo, but I think the date 1900 was on it somewhere (can't be 100% sure as this was a good 15 years ago, but I recall having a sound reason for keeping it in my Boer War collection). I collect WW1 British kit and have several periscopes of the period; this one clearly was not.

Regards,

W.

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Hello William (or, do you prefer Bill ?) Welcome to GMIC - with the knowledge you have shown you'll fit in very well... (We can all pick your brains !)

Somehow, I seem to think I know you - or, of you ? I shall look forward to seeing posts from you.

Mervyn

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Hello William (or, do you prefer Bill ?) Welcome to GMIC - with the knowledge you have shown you'll fit in very well... (We can all pick your brains !)

Somehow, I seem to think I know you - or, of you ? I shall look forward to seeing posts from you.

Mervyn

Mervyn

Thank you, and "William" will do fine! We don't know each other, in fact I don't know any collectors or dealers in SA. But I'll be pleased to help out with any information I can. I now collect only WW1 British items, but I maintain an interest in the 2nd Boer War, and specifically the Imperial Yeomanry in SA.

Best wishes,

W.

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William - I'm English - but enjoy Sth. Africa. I am not a 'dealer' the shop is our hobby - that parts reluctantly with items !!

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Periscopes, I have a ...R & J.B Periscope No.14..TPL Mk4 O.S.1427 G.A...no 9983

I believe it is First World War, have you gentleman any knowledge of this piece...I'm a new member, so please excuse my ignorance if i have broken your protocols....

I can supply pictures, but do not know if i'm allowed......Ian

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Ian - you have 'broken' nothing - and we are delighted to welcome you to the Forum. I have two full size periscopes - one of which - I think - was for tanks. Try to post yours and we can compare - hope you are succesful, so many new members have trouble with images to start with.

And - being a ' perfect gentleman ' I will refrain from any of the silly jokes about Wigan - it is a very nice town.

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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Periscopes, I have a ...R & J.B Periscope No.14..TPL Mk4 O.S.1427 G.A...no 9983

I believe it is First World War, have you gentleman any knowledge of this piece...I'm a new member, so please excuse my ignorance if i have broken your protocols....

I can supply pictures, but do not know if i'm allowed......Ian

I would like join Mervyn in welcoming you to the GMIC.

I too would like to see the periscope you have mentioned.

As far as posting photos I think you have to put in some time and a few posts before you can add photos to your post. I must read those club rules again. However, you might want to check the rules to see when you are allowed to post photos, it looks as though I am the one who is ignorant (of the rules).

Regads

Brian

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Ian - you have 'broken' nothing - and we are delighted to welcome you to the Forum. I have two full size periscopes - one of which - I think - was for tanks. Try to post yours and we can compare - hope you are succesful, so many new members have trouble with images to start with.

And - being a ' perfect gentleman ' I will refrain from any of the silly jokes about Wigan - it is a very nice town.

Mervyn, thank you for your warm welcome.I am attempting to attatch some pictures of the Periscope I mentioned.

Sadly i can only attatch one file, it appears that the other two files are too big.I think from the picture you will get the idea...and this is stamped on the back

R & J.B Periscope No.14..TPL Mk4 O.S.1427 G.A...no 9983

I had one of these back in the early 60's, and recently bought this one on the dreaded Ebay.I think that periscopes may be in my blood.Any help on identifying this periscope, would be greatly appreciated....thanks Ian Morgan

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I would like join Mervyn in welcoming you to the GMIC.

I too would like to see the periscope you have mentioned.

As far as posting photos I think you have to put in some time and a few posts before you can add photos to your post. I must read those club rules again. However, you might want to check the rules to see when you are allowed to post photos, it looks as though I am the one who is ignorant (of the rules).

Regads

Brian

Thank you for your warm welcome, Brian.

I am going to try and attatch another picture of my recently aquired WW1?...periscope for identification...fingers crossed.

Good ...it worked. It appears to have never been painted. Very similar one i had in the 60's was in army green, bought from 'Gamages '...in one of those Daily Mail, Ex -Army adverts, for £3 -4s-6d...those were the days....and we thought we had no freedome!... Any help in identifying this periscope would be appreciated....Thanks Ian Morgan

Ps there is a similar one on ebay as we speak...but hurry .

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Very nice, I wish I could help you with the identification, but alas, I have no knowledge of them.

Thanks for posting the pictures they are quite interestng.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Ian,

It looks like one half of those donkey ear periscopes. Do you know the ones I mean? They usually stand on a tripod.

Apart from that I can't help you. Welcome to the forum by the way.

Tony

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Ian - I think Tony's observation is very perspective (pardon the pun ! ) - perhaps it was part of a binocular periscope ? I think it more likely that it was made for a specific purpose - or, placing. The mount is meant to be fixed down tightly and is of heavy duty metal. Perhaps for a fixed defensive position such as an observation post, ship or, coastal defence. Could also be later then 1st WW.

I enclose a photo of my two periscopes - both of which are WW1 and have the Board of Ordnance Broad Arrow. I have always been told that the one with the wooden handle was for use in the early tanks. The other one is a trench periscope. Details on the end didn't come out too well -but may be visible on the screen ?

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Mervyn,

I also have the one with the wooden handle and know them as private purchase officer periscopes. I can imagine them being privately bought but not necessarily only by officers, although they no doubt cost much more than the average soldier in the trenches could afford.

I've seen the other one on occasions too but the wooden handled periscope appears to be much easier to find, or at least in England anyway.

I need to photograph my collection and will be back near it in a couple of weeks before packing it away again, so will dig out my periscopes. I hope members will find them interesting.

Tony

Edited by Tony

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Ian - I think Tony's observation is very perspective (pardon the pun ! ) - perhaps it was part of a binocular periscope ? I think it more likely that it was made for a specific purpose - or, placing. The mount is meant to be fixed down tightly and is of heavy duty metal. Perhaps for a fixed defensive position such as an observation post, ship or, coastal defence. Could also be later then 1st WW.

I enclose a photo of my two periscopes - both of which are WW1 and have the Board of Ordnance Broad Arrow. I have always been told that the one with the wooden handle was for use in the early tanks. The other one is a trench periscope. Details on the end didn't come out too well -but may be visible on the screen ?

Thank you for the pictures of your two periscopes Mervyn, the top one with the wooden handle, i have one....but the eyepiece lens is very rough, and could do with replacing.

Your second one looks very interesting....but difficult to see what is happening within.... Has it got mirrors or prisms....does it have magnification of the image?...

I think i'll include some more pictures of my other periscopes....This one is a French made (HUET-Paris), for the German Army WW2... It works beautifully and is cased.The top and bottom sections expand, and give additional height.The top section can be revolved from holding position, giving 360' Visibility..Some of these models have a wooden handle, but this one is designed for use with a metal spike....Thanks again for your pictures , more detail of the second one would be greatly appreciated...Ian

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The 'beauty' of our Forum, is that there is always someone interested in even the most obscure items. I shall look forward to seeing your other images and also, Tony's. I will try to get some further pictures of my compact one - I think it has prisms. Eye protectors close it off for protection.

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