Title: Letter, Return of Binoculars, WWI
Accession #: NHHC 2016.062
Size: 8 x 10.5"
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
U.S. Naval Observatory
Subject: return of articles, in connection with the NAVY’S call for binoculars, telescopes, spyglasses, and other navigation instruments.
1. There is being returned to you by registered mail the article received form you in response to the NAVY’S call.
2. An engraved certificate evidencing the participation of this article in the war, is now being prepared and will be forwarded to you at a subsequent date.
3. It is hoped that any evidence of wear or damage will be compensated for by the fact that a great service has been performed and that historic interest has been added to the article returned.
Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
This letter accompanied the binoculars returned to B.L. Stowe following WWI. Like many Americans, Stowe answered the Navy’s call for optic and navigation equipment through the “Eyes for the Navy” program. Unable to meet the demand for binoculars, telescopes, and spyglasses aboard American vessels, the Navy created the “Eyes for the Navy” program whereby Americans could loan their navigation instruments to the Navy for the duration of the war. Following the war, all navigational instruments not in use were returned to their original owners.
Follow the links below the gain more insight on the Navy call for optics in WWI: