The History of Binocular

History of Binocular – Binoculars are a type of tool that lets people sees things that are far-away clearly.

These are made up of a pair of matched telescopes which is supposed to be held in front of the user’s eye. A technology called optics is implied on the device to make far-away things clearly visible.

These pair of telescopes have lenses attached that focuses light & magnifies the image. Also, a binocular has prisms inside that bend the light to shorten the length of tubes.

That’s why binoculars are made shorted than regular telescopes.

As the history of Binocular states, they were mainly used by the Royal Navies. Previously Navy used to telescopes to locate obstacles and ports.

But as it was pretty hard to carry a huge telescope, binoculars were introduced in the market. They are portable and easy to use. Today binoculars are used theatre, bird watching astronomy and scenery watching.

History of Binoculars

the first binocular

It took about five thousand years for glass to be shaped into the lens to form into a telescope. Galileo Galilei was the first person to introduce a telescope in the field of astronomy.

A few years later an experienced eyeglass maker, Hans Lippershey was the first who assembled a device that looked similar to a telescope. The device was new and became widely known.

Years later, Sir Isaac Newtown stated that there a new type of telescope where a curved mirror was used to receive light & reflection back to the point of focus rather than using a glass lens.

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This reflector telescope bought the concept of binoculars for future generations.

Three hundred years of the telescope being used, that binocular finally was introduced. In 1608, an official in charge asked Hans Lippershey to build a binocular version of the telescope.

Therefore as per the history of Binocular, the first binocular was introduced by Lippershey on 8th December 1608. After the newly invented binoculars passed an inspection, further two more binoculars were created.

According to the history of Binocular, the first binoculars were made with Galilean options and glass lenses.

The Galilean binoculars were made of an inverted eyepiece, a curved lens which received light and these light rays produced the actual image. But there was one drawback of this model.

It produced a narrow field of vision which has very low magnification.

Types of Binoculars


Mainly there are two types of binoculars designs based on the prism structure: Roof Prism and Porro Prism. In the roof prism models, the prisms are designed in a way so that they are aligned with each other in a straight line.

Therefore these tend to be sleeker and compact. In general, the Roof prism models are mostly used in different sectors.

The Porro prism provides brighter images whereas the Roof prism ones are known for being durable and compact.

Roof Prism Binoculars


  • These are more compact compared to Porro model.
  • easy to use and provides better grip
  • More durable than the Porro prism model.


  • Very expensive.

Porro Prism Binoculars


  • Super affordable and offers good optical quality.
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  • These models are generally big in size and are not compact. Therefore they are not quite portable compared to the roof prism models.
  • They do not provide a good grip. One cannot comfortably hold it for a long time.

Modern and Military Binoculars

history of binocular

Binoculars have a long history in military use. Up to the 19th century mostly the Galilean designs were used. The Binoculars that were made for the military were mostly rugged compared to the ones used by civilians.

These binoculars were waterproof and had an independent focus. Even the prism sets in military binoculars were covered with aluminized coatings to ensure good reflective quality even if they were wet.

The modern binoculars of the cold war era were much more advanced in terms of functions. They had attached passive sensors which could detect active IR emissions.

In the next few years, military binoculars also included stadia metric reticle to enable range estimation.

The US army Snipers mostly carries the M19 and M49 spotting scope. The M49 spotter is used to read wind speed and also the direction.


Binoculars have come a long way in the last few decades. The history of binocular states that it was a device meant to see far-away objects. But its application is no more the same today.

It has been upgraded with modern technologies and is one of the chief instrument used by the defence.

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