So I was reading the wikipedia page for 'telephoto lens' and came across mention of this man, Alexander McKay. Here is what it says....
"in New Zealand, Alexander McKay was taking photographs of exceptional quality using home-made telephoto lenses, ground from the bottoms of whisky bottles, probably as early as 1883 or 1884."
Now, if that doesn't peak the interest of an analog photographer, I don't know what will.
I've googled to no avail to find some examples of his photographs. All I can find is mention of his geology & passing commentary on his photography.
If anyone knows where to find any pictures taken with these lenses, please let me know. Or if you know of a good book (besides the ones reference in the wiki), I'd love to hear about it. It sounds pretty awesome IMO.