View Full Version : 1876 Catalogue pages for Scovill's Peerless Petzval Lens Line

7-Jun-2014, 05:33
Please see


Thank you

7-Jun-2014, 08:56

7-Jun-2014, 10:54
Very cool. The Seventies was my favorite decade!

7-Jun-2014, 13:28
I've been partial to the Radial drive versions, when I can find them. They were only made a few years, less than 500 ever made, by my estimation. No Peerless has a 4 digit number, and the vast majority are the Tangent drive, European made ones. Those are very good quality too, I have both....

Two in front.


7-Jun-2014, 13:31
Many of my best Petzval shots are with these, which I predominately use, the past few years. Here is one from 2 weeks ago:


20-May-2016, 13:58
I have a new hypothesis. The brass barrels may have all been made by the same company, whether radial or tangent drive. The serial numbers interleave, i.e. you can have a tangent, radial, tangent, radial in rough sequential number order. The first were Tangents, Morrison did come about later, I was mistaken in my other writings.

Milan, a collector associate of mine wrote me, “I've seen several examples of each type with both higher and lower #s than the other.” Why would that be? It seems they imported some, before and then during the time Morrison made others. Then after they imported more. Or they had a bunch of tangent drive ones in storage, as Morrison began to make more radials. Either way, they engraved the barrels themselves, in house, and probably did some of both drive types, each year. Some customers would want one type, some another perhaps.

My tangent Peerless is 2xx serial, my radials are 75x – 87x numbers. I've seen other Tangents in the 700-800 range, I do believe.

If it has a Radial Drive, the glass and drive was made by Morrison, in America, is my belief. But the barrels (perhaps with no drive) could have all been made in Europe, they look French. They look very similar in their fittings, almost identical in the somewhat unique rear. Some think Gasc et Charconnet, but I’m not sure I’m seeing that connection anymore. Morrison could have ordered some with no glass, so he could install his own. If you study the other makers of American Radial Drives, you'll notice almost all have identical type of barrels. So it's not beyond reason that CC Harrison, Holmes Booth Haydens, and the others got their barrels from one company, and just had their optical people make the glass and install it.

One more related hypothesis. Scovill, a known brass company that made brass tokens, lamps, buttons, in "brasstown USA" Waterbury, CT, could have made the brass barrels in house. But why did their advertisements say "Peerless imported from Europe" if that were true? Surely they didn't just import the glass. And the barrels do NOT look like the other American Radial drive barrels.

Mark Sawyer
20-May-2016, 15:43
Just adding to the data base, #309 is a 9-inch f/3.6 tangent drive. Looks American-made to me, but hard to say for sure...