WMAR-TV’s Zoomar Lens: Serial No. 1

WMAR-TV's Zoomar lens - serial number 1.
WMAR-TV’s Zoomar lens – serial number 1.

What a treat to receive – out of the blue – an email from Rob Brockmeyer, production manager at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rob sends photos of the fascinating piece of history on display in WMAR’s lobby: a Zoomar lens bearing the serial number “1”.

Read the rest of this post to see a small gallery of images of this history lens. More information about the history of the Zoomar lens can be found in the relevant section of the Who Invented The Zoom Lens? section of this site.

WMAR-TV's Zoomar lens - serial number 1.
WMAR-TV’s Zoomar lens – serial number 1.

WMAR-TV's Zoomar lens - serial number 1. A detail of a plate describing the lens.
The guarantee provided with new Zoomar lenses delivered in the late 1940s: “This lens is factory adjusted, lubricated, and sealed. It is unconditionally guaranteeed for one year from date of purchase or to the extent of the maintenance contract with Zoomar. Any tampering by persons not authorized by Zoomar will void this guaranty [sic] and will exclude any reconditioning. Serial No.1. For black & white TV-cameras only.”
WMAR-TV's Zoomar lens mounted on a television camera.
A photo on display with WMAR-TV’s historic Zoomar lens. The caption reads: “WMAR executive personnel discuss Zoomar lens with its inventor, Dr F. G. Bach. The group include, from left to right: Messrs E. K. Jett, Vice President and Director of Radio at the A. S. Abell Company; R. B. Cochrane, Program Director; Dr Bach; J. [Jack] Pegler, President Bach Video Corp.; and C. G. Napper, Chief Engineer of WMAR.” Note that Frank Back’s surname is more commonly spelt with a ‘k’

3 thoughts on “WMAR-TV’s Zoomar Lens: Serial No. 1”

  1. Greetings, interesting site i happened upon.
    Brings back many memories of Dr Bach.
    I knew Dr Bach very well. My parents, who were close friends with him and his wife, first introduced me to him in the mid to late 1950″s. On many occasions I visited his office at Zoomar, Long Island NY
    FYI- he always used the spelling BACH, not Back.

  2. Thank you very much for your comment.

    ​While I have come across Dr Back’s named spelled “Bach” a few times, the majority of articles and documents spell it “Back”. He used this spelling when publishing articles about his inventions and on his patents. The archive of his papers, at University of California San Diego, has also followed this spelling. Therefore, to help other historians find information about him, I’ve retained the more common spelling of the name.

    I’m fascinated to learn that he seems to have used a (slightly) different spelling of his name for personal purposes. I’m not sure why this would be the case, but perhaps other readers of this page can offer some suggestions.

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