In 1991 a fellow named Jacobson made it his business to
try to track down the legacy of the last remaining Pinkham
that had any involvement with lens making.

That would have been the nephew of the original Pinkham
that made the magic.  The nephew that was responsible for
the small run of 14" Pinkham Bi-Quality lenses that were
done some time around 1954.


la puta negro duece

Jacobson was able to locate Mr. Pinkham's widow in Lexington
Massachusetts.  She recalled assembling the Bi-Quality lenses
at their kitchen table.  And she produced the last box of odds
and ends that remained.  A few broken barrels, some lenses,
and what-not.  Obviously projects put away for a rainy day
that never came.


la puta negro duece ii

Jacobson bought the lot, took it home, wrapped it up in newspaper
and forgot about it for 20 years.  In 2011 he offered the stuff on
Ebay.  And I bought it.


la puta negro duece iii

Of interest to us for the purposes of these images was a pair of
unmounted lenses with the number 16 on the side.  It didn't take
me long to realize what I'd bought was a one off pre-production
16" Pinkham Bi-Quality.  The lenses are identical in every way
to the elements in the standard 14" Bi-Quality.  Interchangeable.


back yard treasures

So putting the obvious pieces back together with no one living
to confirm or deny, it seems obvious enough to me that the family
toyed with going into production with 2 possible focal lengths.
The 14" which was produced, and a 16" which was never built.
I have the prototype lens.


29 model a station wagon stop lamp

Another 4 years have passed, and finally I've gotten around to
installing the 16" lenses into a 14" Bi-Quality barrel.  The images
on these pages are the first five tries with the prototype!  Maybe
the first 5 images ever produced with this glass, 62 years late.