The first mention of the Peerless lens that I can locate is from Scovill's trade magazine, The Photographic Times, July 1872 issue, shown below.
While there is information and existing lenses to support that Richard Morrison was involved in making a few lenses for the Scovill Peerless Lens line (perhaps pre-1872) that feature radial drive mechanisms, the common Peerless Petzval Lens line that sold for about a 15 year period, starting in 1872, features a European inspired tangential drive and construction details (see image below). Also, note the Scovill article above mentions the Peerless is "of foreign manufacturer...," and "is used in many of the first-class galleries of Germany and France, and some in America..." Speculation has it that the firm of Gasc & Charconnet of France may have been the supplier of the Peerless lenses sold by Scovill.
Shown below is Scovill's 1876 Catalogue pages for the Peerless line of lenses.
Catalogue of photographic lenses : consisting of Peerless portrait, Darlot portrait, Morrison's landscape, condensing lenses, &c. Scovill Manufacturing Company. 1876.
The 1882 advertisement below mentions, "Extra Rapid" Peerless lenses. Their "Ordinary Rapidity," lens is probably about f/4.5 in maximum aperture while the "Quick Acting" are likely in the f/3.5 to f/3.8 range. Perhaps these improved, "Extra Rapid" lenses are about f/3 in maximum aperture. Although I have owned a few Peerless lenses, it can be a challenge to meaure the difference between say, F/3.5 and F/4.5 for a given Petzval so I cant state for certain these are the exact apertures, but based on other Petzval lines, I bet my estimates are fairly accurate.
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