The sight of some binoculars in Yeates and Son makes Bloom think of a pair he owns that have stopped working properly, and then of their country of origin: "Must get those old glasses of mine set right. Goerz lenses six guineas. Germans making their way everywhere. Sell on easy terms to capture trade. Undercutting." He may be right that German manufacturers have engaged in aggressive pricing strategies, but the important larger context is that their high-quality exports were taking the world by storm at the turn of the century, threatening to overtake the economic ascendancy that Britain had achieved in the 19th century.

JH 2023

Prismatic binoculars manufactured by the Goerz company ca. 1895-98.

Simon Spiers' 2009 photograph of Goerz prismatic binoculars manufactured in 1911. Source:

  German gross domestic product per capita from 1500 to 2018.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.