The first Cooke lens was made from an elegantly simple design, patented in 1893, known as "The Cooke Triplet Patent." From that point through the 1960s, many series of Cooke stills lenses were designed, produced and engraved with the Cooke name in Leicester, England by Taylor, Taylor & Hobson. This Cooke Compendium, compiled by Barbara Lowry, offers detailed highlights and specifications about each and every Cooke lens series that was published in the many Cooke lens catalogues that reside in our Cooke Archives.
We dedicate this Compendium to contemporary photographers, many of whom reached out to Barbara at Cooke over the past 18 years for information about these old gems that they discovered in attics or bought on eBay.
Serial numbers: The books no longer exist for Cooke lenses made before 1947, so to determine the approximate age of your lens, scroll down to the bottom of the descriptions on most pages. There you will see lists of sample lenses with serial numbers and their engravings that should help you place your lens in time.