Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
My collection of Grubb Patent Aplanatic Lenses made in Dublin between the 1850s and the 1870s all have micro-engraving with a number at the very edge of the glass lens element to match the engraved or stamped number on the brass barrel of the lens. The purpose behind this is to indicate authenticity and avoid fakes.The writing (for that is what it is) is barely visible to the naked eye and even more difficult to photograph.
Below is a poor photo of the micro engraving on the lens element of Grubb Patent Aplanatic No 582 which reads 'Grubb Patent No 582'. No 582 is the lens in the front middle of the group photo of my Grubb lens which is also below.
What I am wondering is whether other 19th Century lens manufacturers 'signed' their lenses in this fashion. I have read that Darlot lenses have some kind of signature, but all I have is a Darlot copy sold by Morley, which has no obvious sign of a signature. This seems to me more than just a copyright issue and it is just like a signature on a photograph or a painting to say 'this is my work'. I cannot avoid getting the image of a craftsman, in a dark workshop in the 1860s, writing or scratching this on a freshly made lens, using a magnifying glass to see. Comments are welcome.
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