Binocular Viewer a relic of the past looks at the future

Binocular Viewer on The Pier in St. Petersburg Florida - to me a relic of the past - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm lens @ f/11 ISO 200 7-bracket HDR mounted on Induro CT214 tripod with cable releaseWhile teaching a DSLR Photography Lesson a student wanted to photograph that thing you see above.  Its proper name I could not even dream of at the time.  Even after giving it more thought, not until I visited its maker's website did it seem obvious:  this thing is called a binocular viewer.  To look upon one up close is to me to witness a relic of the past.  Something first encountered on a family trip as a child.  Some marker of a place of significance that is better seen up close.  

I would guess few objects are made like a binocular viewer still is, its pedestal seemingly hewn from a solid piece of iron and the binoculars themselves cast from thick steel.  Few things seen in modern daily life seem as immutable.  I cannot imagine its exterior design has changed at all in fifty years.  The inner optics must have, but maybe not.  

It also never occured to me to feed it a quarter and look through it.  25 cents somehow seems an unacceptable fortune to see something I already can.  There is no LCD screen or preview or marketing gimmick attached to the binocular viewer to pry a valuable and useful quarter from my pocket.  Yet, I felt immensely glad it was there, and continues to exist, like the feeling one has when coming across and old, solitary tree.