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Thread: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

  1. #1

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    New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    Taylor, Taylor & Hobson made quite a few RR types before the Cooke triplet started to dominate their business. It is assumed that a new series of serial numbers were introduced when this revolution started.
    VM is also very vague about early serial numbers.
    To-day, the following engraved ordinary TT&H RR was sold - you know where.
    It was engraved:

    TAYLOR TAYLOR & HOBSON Leicester & London

    Eq. FOCUS 9.27IN. 8 X 5 R R MAY 1895

    NO 8448

    Is this a message to all of us from a foresighted member of staff? The engraving is exactly as usual - apart from the date May 1895.
    Is this an engraver who was having a birthday or a special order for a customer?
    It certainly helps to place quite a lot of TT&H RRs a bit more accurately. A very small contribution - but quite fun, I think!

  2. #2
    funkadelic
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    Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    What message?
    Other than tying a serial number to a point in time, I'm not sure what else I should be reading into this. Then again, last night was a late night.
    What is the serial number (or best approximation) of the newest RR and the oldest triplet?

  3. #3

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    Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    Can't answer that last question 'cos I don't have any early triplet (Cooke) numbers - but I think the Cooke story started just after May 1895 - but will check.
    All I am saying is that RR serial numbers less than 8448 are from before May 1895 and those with higher numbers are probably after.
    For example, I have MAR no 2825, with bronze iris leaves which is at least a 3 to 4 of years before 1895 and an ordinary RR 6648 with steel iris leaves that is perhaps 1 or 2 years earlier.
    Very specific interest area - as shown by the warning in the title.
    Except that I can't remember any other date/month engraved lens - other than the early Petzval's lens pencil and indian ink scribbles!

  4. #4
    funkadelic
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    Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    I think I recall hearing that the "knuckler" version of soft focus lenses started in 1924. I have owned two Cookes, pre-knuckler era. I'll get some serials and see how close to the serial from 1895 these are. Have you contacted Barbara Lowry (sp?) on this? I can get you her email on Monday (it's on my other computer at the office) if you're interested. I think she is the unofficial keeper of Cooke history. While she may be interested, if this pre-dated the "Cooke" history, she probably won't have it documented but may have information to help tie some timelines together.

  5. #5

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    Thumbs up Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    And thanks to the generous help from the seller and his permission I can post the engraving.
    If this is not a maker engraving, then it is the work of master craftsman.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails datetth.jpg  

  6. #6

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    Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    I have a 11.1" 8.5 x 6.5 RR with serial number 13653 but no date.
    In addition the TTH engraving the lens also shows the sellers name which is: Sold By The City Sale & Exchange, 54 Lime St. & 81 Aldersgate St. London
    Iris leaves looks like they could be made of bronze.

  7. #7

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    Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    Yes they are bronze.

  8. #8

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    Re: New information about TT@H RRs serial numbers before the Cooke triplet

    Checking what happened in the UK in May 1895 - I note that Her Majesty the Queen and Empress of India, Victoria, held a much celebrated 75th Birthday on the 24th of May 1895!

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