My first pair of binoculars: 7x35

by James K. Sayre

My first pair of binoculars was purchased back in the spring of 1956 at age 13 from earnings from my morning Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper delivery route. They were 7x35, with a heavy black metal frame and a nice leather case, made by Sears/Tower brand. I must have been pretty keen on my birdwatching hobby at that time, to make this major investment (for a kid) at that time. They weigh 24 ounces and the leather case and strap weigh another 12 ounces; not too heavy back then and exhibiting a good solid heft nowadays.

What made me think about them was seeing a 1964 episode of The Andy Griffith Show, in which Deputy Barney Fife, was wearing a binoculars carrying case, almost identical to mine, during some of his detective work.

Actually, my first pair of binoculars is still in perfect working order after over fifty years of sporadic; the leather case is a little beat up, but the binoculars themselves are just fine.

Several years ago, I purchased a pair of small zoom Bushnell binoculars, that range from 7x to 15x; these are amazingly powerful; sometimes too powerful for observing nearby birds. They are light-weight, weighing only 10 ounces, but somehow, they just don't feel like real binoculars...






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