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The Associated Press reported on January 30th of 1918 that the US government was appealing to the public to send any binoculars, spyglasses, telescopes, sextants, and chronometers by mail or express to the Navy.

A similar request several weeks earlier had brought in more than 6,000 of these devices, but was far from what they felt was needed to sight enemy German U-boats.

They promised to return the devices to their rightful owners after the war, assuming that they weren’t lost or damaged in battle.

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