Chemistry Related Antique Optical Instruments

chemistry-related antique optical instruments

On this web page, you will see my collection of early optical instruments used in the chemical laboratory. The collection consist of old instruments such as spectroscopes, refractometers, polarimeters, goniometers, and microscopes.

These instruments were designed specifically for making measurements on or doing experiments with chemical substances. The instruments date from the late 19th to the early 20th century.

Elsewhere on this web site, you can see my more extensive collection of antique brass microscopes dating from the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century. I am always interested in acquiring new scientific instruments for these collections and will answer all inquiries.

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Spectroscopes (spectrometers):


john browning, 63 strand, london. multi-prism laboratory spectroscope c. 1875

John Browning, 63 Strand, London. Multi-prism Automatic Laboratory Spectroscope c. 1875


carl zeiss, jena nr. 39881. comparison spectroscope c. 1930

Carl Zeiss, Jena Nr. 39881. Comparison Spectroscope c. 1930


franz schmidt & haensch, berlin, s. direct vision spectroscope after hoffmann, c. 1890

Franz Schmidt & Haensch, Berlin, S. Direct Vision Spectroscope after Hoffmann, c. 1890


spectroscope - hofmann, construit à l' institute d' optique à paris du dr. j. g. hofmann à paris, direct vision spectroscope, c. 1870

Spectroscope - Hofmann, Construit à l' Institute d' Optique à Paris du Dr. J. G. Hofmann à Paris, Direct Vision Spectroscope, c. 1870

John Browning, London. Direct Vision Hand Spectroscope c. 1885


e. leitz wetzlar,  hand or pocket spectroscope with comparison prism, 1920

E. Leitz Wetzlar. Hand or pocket spectroscope with comparison prism, 1920


microspectroscopes, from left to right: r&j beck, london: john browning, london; carl zeiss, jena

Microspectroscopes: from left to right: R & J Beck, London: John Browning, London Carl Zeiss, Jena


e. leitz wetzlar. abbe type microspectroscope, c. 1915

E. Leitz Wetzlar. Abbe type microspectroscope, c. 1900

Refractometers :

carl zeiss, jena nr. 11794. pulfrich refractometer c. 1925

Carl Zeiss, Jena Nr. 11794. Pulfrich Refractometer, c.1920

Polarimeters (polariscopes, saccharimeters) :

laurent type polarimeter c. 1900

Laurent Type Polarimeter c. 1900

Chemical microscopes/microscopy :

nachet, 17 rue st. severin, paris. the nachet-smith inverted chemical microscope, c. 1885

Nachet, 17 rue St. Severin, Paris. The Nachet-Smith Inverted Chemical Microscope, c. 1885

deleuil, raspail simple chemical microscope. c. 1835

Deleuil, Raspail Simple Chemical Microscope. c. 1835


eimer & amend, new york. reagents for chemical microscopy, shillaber model set no. 2, c. 1930

Eimer & Amend, New York. Reagents for  Chemical Microscopy, Shillaber Model Set No. 2, c. 1930

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microspectroscope: r&j beck, 31 cornhill london, no. 56 microspectroscope: john browning, london microspectroscope: carl zeiss, jena, no. 338