goggles on a head strap

Passive night goggles SSE1PG

Night vision or night optical devices were first introduced in World War II for night time observation by the military. These goggles, a development from the 1980s, were used by Customs officers during night time investigation in the early 1990s. Customs Officers required aids for night vision for coastal patrol operations when using their rigid inflatable boat, or RIB. The goggles with the addition of the head strap allowed the devise to be used hands free, so operation of machinery or equipment was not restricted. 

The goggles consist of image intensifier tubes, surrounded by a protective aluminium housing. The example shown here reveal the lens cover removed. In use only this would only be done in low light conditions to avoid damage to highly sensitive components. They were on display at Greenock Custom House before being transferred to the Border Force National Museum in 2010.

These goggles are not currently on display but you can see many other fascinating items from the collection of the Border Force National Museum in the Seized! gallery in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Accession number CENM2010.85.1-2