Re: NANFA-- Speaking of "fish viewers"

Christopher Scharpf (
Mon, 03 Dec 2001 14:55:38 -0400

> I have it in mind that old-time naturalists used some kind of a "'reverse
> periscope" gizmo to stay out of the water while oogling fishes in their
> natural environment.
> And I'm sure that this device had a more precise name than "fish viewer" ...
> anybody know (a) what it's called, and (b) if such products are still
> commercially available ?

It's called a "reflecting water glass" and it was designed by Jacob Reighard
(the "father of fishwatching") in 1908.

"The observer may thus stand upright in the water," Reighard wrote, "holding
the water glass in front of him, and by looking into the upper mirror see
submerged objects as he would see them if his head were beneath the

Don't know if any are commercially available, but a handy person should be
able to construct one. Reighard's 1909 paper -- "Methods of Studying the
Habits of Fishes, with an Account of the Breeding Habits of the Horned
Dace," Bull. Bur. Fish. -- included a diagram.

A summary of Reighard's fishwatching techniques is scheduled for the Winter
2002 American Currents.

Christopher Scharpf

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