Bausch & Lomb Optical Company

Bausch & Lomb Optical Company

A partnership formed in 1853 by German immigrant  John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb, the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company was headquartered in Rochester, New York and “produced the first optical quality glass in America.” (1.) This three-color lithograph printed on coated manilla paper stock was found partly disbound within a stapled copy of the August, 1904 issue of The Photographic Times-Bulletin (2.) Printed in yellow, light blue and darker blue, the unsigned artwork depicts a workman at the Bausch & Lomb factory grinding optical lenses. The advertisement not only promotes the firm’s lenses  & shutters but their “Quarter Century Art Catalog” which was “just issued”. A very fine printed copyright disclaimer at the foot of the advertisement reads:

copyrighted 1904 By Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.

The reverse (verso) is a full-page advertisement for Bausch & Lomb-Zeiss TESSAR lenses, printed in red and black ink.

Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on September 30, 2012:

Period lithographs used as advertising matter rarely survive intact in early photographic journals. Similar to a gravure sometimes included as a frontispiece, they were often pulled by a former owner for their intrinsic beauty and continued study before the remaining issue was thrown away. Their value today lies in the beauty of the artwork as well as the acknowledgment of the time and expense of multiple printing that lithography entailed. So I was pleasantly surprised when a parcel showed up in the mail yesterday with a partly disbound lithograph printed in 1904 featuring a Bausch & Lomb Optical Company employee grinding lenses. The art of printing related to photography is a peripheral interest of mine, one I hope to add as a collecting resource to the site as treasures like this one turn up occasionally.


1. excerpt: Bausch & Lomb: in: Rochester Leaders and their Legacies: by Donovan A. Shilling: Arcadia Publishing: 2005: p. 65
2. in the front of the issue opposite the final pages of advertisements paginated viii  and first page of editorial letterpress: p. 337 (unpaginated-with article by H.K. Landis titled Seaside Snap-Shots). The lithograph has been removed from the issue with preservation in mind.  Two sets of  staple holes can be seen on left margin.

Bausch & Lomb Optical Company

Support Dimensions24.8 x 17.2 cm