Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

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apochronaut
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Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#1 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:20 am

??????

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#2 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:58 am

The Daniel Gill years...
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

BramHuntingNematodes
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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#3 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:07 am

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=us

apparently more specifically the summer of 1986.
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

MicroBob
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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#4 Post by MicroBob » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:14 am

Hi Phil,
Zeiss didn't stop at all, I'm sure that they still obtain much of their optical glass from their sister company Schott.

Bob

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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#5 Post by MichaelG. » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:51 am

BramHuntingNematodes wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:07 am
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=us

apparently more specifically the summer of 1986.
Interesting timeline, Bram
.
1985 - July 25: Glass Plant closes.

1989 - May: Company announced plans for a new 18-acre public park extending along the eastern banks of the Genesee River in Rochester. The park will be named Bausch & Lomb Riverside Park.

1989 - June 23: B&L signed an agreement with Levi Strauss & Co. under which Bausch & Lomb will design and introduce a line of sunglasses bearing the Levi's name
.

Says a lot about modern business, I think :(

MichaelG.
Too many 'projects'

apochronaut
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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#6 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:36 pm

Second part of the question is: More specifically , it would have at one point been necessary to locate one's operations in proximity to a desirable sand resource. Certainly, sand as a commodity could be purchased but it would have to be shipped and overseeing the grade of it would be transferred to people outside , not an ideal situation.

For instance! The reason that the U.S. center of optical production was around the Rochester -Buffalo area is most likely originally due to the very pure quartz sand distributed around the Great Lakes. The sand proximal to Lake Ontario , I am quite familiar with but the other lakes all have sand of high purity but likely of slightly differing composition. I'm guessing that there is a sand resource of a specific quality near to Wetzlar and Jena too, that prompted the origins of those areas as optical centers.
It is likely that many small producers bought glass, or even finished lenses but that wouldn't have been the case for certain producers. They would have needed sand. Sand would spawn an industry , then skilled craftspersons would further fuel the development as a center.

Leitz went looking for a location for a new plant and settled on Midland, Ontario in 1952. It ran for almost 40 years, until Leitz was no longer a tenable company, when it was sold to Raytheon. Raytheon, still produces optics there.
Most of you probably don't know where Midland is, nor should you. At the time Leitz went there , you could have blinked and missed it. It's prime raison d'etre would have been to house a grocery store for hunters and fihermen. Leitz, establishing a plant there makes almost no sense but there must have been a good reason. Could it have been something as simple as there being a source of sand of a specific grade? They designed and manufactured mostly camera lenses there but military optics too.
I actually visited the plant many years ago and it has always been in the back of my mind. Midland, why Midland? If it had been Timbuktu it would have made more sense, since I know there is sand there.

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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#7 Post by Zuul » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:50 pm

The other resource that would have been critical is fuel for the furnaces. A century ago, that meant coal; something in abundance around the Great Lakes thanks to steel production. The area also had excellent railroad and shipping infrastructure. (Wasn’t Midland a terminus for one of the railroads?) The Great Lakes were the hub of most North American manufacturing in that era.

I grew up in Erie, PA along Lake Erie.

apochronaut
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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#8 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:12 pm

Fuel would have been in abundance anywhere in Ontario. Midland had a population of about 4-5,000 then, a small town, with a few wharves for grain boats. If one thinks of coal as a prime reason, then an obvious choice would have been Hamilton or St. Catherines or Burlington, or Toronto where there would have been thousands of tons of it.

Midland was was way out in the middle of nowhere, with no existing infrastructure that would support an optical industry. There were some optical works; Kodak, some small manufacturing of opthalmic stuff in Belleville, other small camera related stuff but these were all in actual cities, places that absolutely dwarfed Midland.
Canada's labour costs were as high as anywhere in the western world, probably about 3 times that of Germany at the time, so labour makes no sense. Probably, the entire labour force was imported from Germany.

Even if you consider that Canada for some odd reason was a good choice, there were hundreds of other places that make more sense from a labour supply and basic resource supply point of view.

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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#9 Post by ImperatorRex » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:28 pm

apochronaut wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:36 pm
I'm guessing that there is a sand resource of a specific quality near to Wetzlar and Jena too, that prompted the origins of those areas as optical centers.
Sounds logical. But the german optical manufacturers where founded back to mid. of the 19th century. All the optical glas was imported from England or France, so there was no source close to the own facilities. In the last decade of the 19th century the government in prussia agreed to sponsor research from Zeiss Jena / Schott to develop own and new optical glas recipies...what finally leads to the new apochromatic corrected objectives.

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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#10 Post by MicroBob » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:41 pm

I think it is also a question of the time of establishing the company: Zeiss founded his company (just one apprentice) in 1846. Germany was not united then but a puzzle of small kingdoms auf you couldn't move quite as you liked.
Also when I think about microscope manufacture there are a lot of other important ingredients to set up a good company, like trained labor, railway connection, land prices...
But for Zeiss glass supply was then a bottle neck because of import risks and consistency of the product quality.

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Re: Roughly when did microscope manufacturers stop making their own glass?

#11 Post by wabutter » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:56 pm

In re: Michael G’s post on 1985 B and L closing the optics plant in Rochester, this was like the result of Cambridge buying the Microscopy business and moving the operation To Buffalo NY with the former AO facility.

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