Lieberman & Gortz
Lieberman & Gortz short history
In our collection we have the binocular, which has description: Lieberman & Gortz.
Some collectors presumed as it is an extension of the German Goerz Company opened after the WWII.
This supposition is incorrect.
We would like to give a short history of the Company.
I. History of the Company
The Company was established in the late 1940s, in the UK. It was named ‘H&G Headquarter & General Supplies Limited’. The main office o f the Company was in London.
It was the Company which supplied many optical items as: binoculars; prisms; opera glasses; range of telescopes; microscopes; compasses (magnetic and prismatic pocket size; car compasses; navigator’s boat compasses).
Later on the Company supplied other stuff; jewelry, tape recorders; cameras and projectors; radios, camping and some tools.
All items were described and pictured in the catalogues, which were printed by the Company. Every item had given own special catalogue’s number.
The items were ordered from the catalogues.
The one of the first catalogues, ca. 1955
In the first catalogues were offered many second hand binoculars. As H&G described the binoculars, in their catalogues “Many of the individual offers of Binoculars in this Catalogue were used by High Ranking Officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force”.
The old binoculars pictured and described, in the first catalogues were: Carl Zeiss – U-Boat 7 x 50; 7 x 50 UDF; Leitz – 7 x 50 beh; Hensoldt – 10 x 50; Ross 7 x 50; Kershaw 6 x 30.
Zeiss and Kershaw binoculars offered for sale
Next models of the binoculars sold by this Company were new binoculars, which were sold under the brand name of “Lieberman & Gortz”. Binoculars were produced in France, Japan, England and few in Hong Kong.
II. The binoculars models sold by Lieberman & Gortz
1. French models
The first new binoculars under name Lieberman & Gortz were produced in France. The binoculars were poor quality.
French models; 21 x 47 ; 45 x 70; and model 8 x 26
2. English models
Next models of the binoculars were produced in Japan and in the UK in ca 1960-1961. The English models were produced by Ross London. It was economy version of Ross models.
The 16 x 60 model named ‘Solaross’
The other Ross model was 40 x 70 named “Cross Channel”. The body of that binocular is in our collection.
Model 40 x 70 named “Cross Channel”
On the right plate is Lieberman & Gortz logo – L&G and magnification. The left size is the binocular name “Cross Channel”.
Model 40 x 70 named “Cross Channel”
The prism house of the body is the same as a Solar Ross model, but the objective tubes are much longer with the longer focus objective lens.
The Company sold the war time binoculars 7 x 50 original Ross and Bar & Stroud as well.
7 x 50 Ross used during the WWII
3. Hong Kong models
Lieberman & Gortz 7 x 50 Telstar produced in Hong Kong
The binoculars produced in Hong Kong gave reasonable quality images; however the Japanese manufactured binoculars gave better optical performance and quality control.
4. Japanese models
The Japanese binoculars were good quality and they were specifically marked.
In our collection we have Japanese documents (1953-1974) about the meaning of the optical markings on the binoculars and telescopes body.
The Japanese binocular produced under name Lieberman & Gortz is in our collection.
It is model 8 x 30 “Super”, with coated lenses.
8 x 30 “Super” Japanese model sold by Lieberman & Gortz, in our collection; Copyright pictures Anna Vacani
Descriptions on the plates specify;
- Left plate: a name of the model – “Super”; magnification; field view (7.5Ëš) and production number
- Right plate; Lieberman & Gortz and information about coated lenses.
8 x 30 “Super” Japanese model sold by Lieberman & Gortz, description on the plates; Copyright pictures Anna Vacani
The most important information about the real producer is in the engraved numbers, on the bending bar bridge.
8 x 30 “Super” Japanese model sold by Lieberman & Gortz, engraved numbers ; Copyright picture Anna Vacani
The left (white) numbers indicates that the binocular was produced by Akebono Kogaku Seiki Seisakujo.
As we have learnt from Japanese documents: “Binoculars from Japan are rigidly inspected to make sure that every component is of top quality and that all mechanisms are in perfect working order. All optical products that have passed these rigorous standards are tagged ‘PASSED’ by the Government’s Japan Telescopes Inspection Institute. The JL mark - only those binocular and optical manufacturers meeting Japan’s Government Standards of inspection and quality may use this authorized symbol [...] The letter E (right side in the picture) referring to the metal work manufacturer and the letter B indicating the manufacturer of the finished product”.
Those markings were applied only for the binoculars exported from Japan.
At the end of the Lieberman & Gortz Company there existed a chain of about 40 shops.
Today we could name the Company as ‘Mail Order Company’. The Company was closed in the early 1980s. To the final year the Company was selling binoculars.
Parallel to L&G Company another mail order shop was opened, which was selling binoculars, named: “J.A. Davis & Son LTD”.
We hope that this short history will clear the air around Lieberman & Gortz binoculars and it will not be confused with the German Goerz Company.