Collecting Military Binoculars
6 x 30 Monocular Nife Stockholm 1942
No: 13458 and 12545
This monocular was made by NIFE (Stockholm) for the Swedish Army. This 6x30 optics is dated 1942 and includes a fully focusing eyepiece, porro prism construction, built-in magnification scale (vertical division up to 20 and a horizontal division from 0 to 80), ocular leather cap with lanyard, and a full grain leather case.The wartime markings include the Swedish crown insignia, serial number and date.
NIFE binoculars have an interesting history which begins with Georg Vogel who in 1939 was an optical engineer and manager with the Czech optical company, Srb & Stys (today known as Meopta). After the German occupation, Vogel, fearing eventual persecution because he was Jewish, travelled to Sweden on the pretext of a binocular order. Once there, assisted by a friend who was both the Swedish consul in Prague and a director of the Swedish company, Jungner, which was the Swedish distributor for Srb & Stys products and a battery manufacturer, he was able to establish an affiliate of Jungner called NIFE to manufacture optical products. The name derives from the battery components Nickel (Ni) and Iron (Fe). NIFE existed until 1977 manufacturing, among other optical products, binoculars, many of which seem to have been Swedish army 6X30’s but also some civilian models and small numbers of other military models including a mounted 8X50 with inclined oculars and a deck-mounted 8X60 Porro II patterned on the famous Zeiss model.