This is a rare antique Zeiss Aerotopograph viewer. It is called "ESTEREOSCOPIO DE BOLSILLO" in the instruction insert that goes with the item. It was purchased new in the early 1950's in Cararcas, by a surveyor who was the first to map vast areas of Venezuela. The stereopticon most likely dates from post world war II times, as importation from Germany had resumed in the 1950's, however manufacture may or may not be post WWII. Someone knowledgeable of the history of the Zeiss company could pin point the manufacture date. The instruction sheet is written in Spanish. The Logo reads "Zeiss Aerotopo". It also reads "ZEISS AEROTOPOGRAPH MUNICH"
It can be used to view maps in stereo-optic vision. (See the instruction sheet)
It folds, as you can see in a couple of the pictures. One picture I took thru one of the lenses of the test chart just to see if I could photograph it. It adjusts in height because of the ribs on the legs.
It is helpful if you read Spanish, the instructions are in Spanish.
It is approximately 5"x 2", earning its name as "pocket stereopticon" It was well cared for, lenses are great, metal is clean and unblemished, and it is stored in its own leather pouch. I did not clean up the pouch before taking the picture, so it will clean up well. The name of the original owner is in block letters on the inside: this was my father in law.
This may be of interest to surveyors, and those interested in Zeiss products, and the history of Venezuela.
To help date the manufacture, the
Address on the instruction sheet:
"MUNCHEN 27, Ismaninger Str. 57
Tel Sammelnummer 448721"
Alternate address on the instruction sheet is
"Bureau principal: Munich 19,
Prinzenstrasse 18, (U.S.-Zone, Germany)
The provenence of this item is accurate, and the owner of this tool lived long after his time as surveyor in the jungles of Venezuela.