Microscope-Related United States Patents: 1853-1915

(authored by: www.antique-microscopes.com)

Microscope manufacturing in America began in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century. Before that time, the few microscopes that were available in this country were imported primarily from France and England.1, 2 As mentioned by Gage,1 the first American microscope manufacturer of commercial significance was Charles A. Spencer (1813-1881). His first microscope was produced around 1838. His earliest stands were similar to those made by the French maker Charles Chevalier and those of the English maker Andrew Pritchard.3 However, later in the century, the Spencer firm, along with several of the other newly established American manufacturers, began to offer instruments having a more distinct American style. Many of these newer instruments incorporated important innovations. As might be expected, some of these innovations were perceived to have commercial value and, accordingly, patents applications were filed with the United States Patent Office to protect these inventions. For collectors and historians of antique microscopes, these early U.S. patent documents are a valuable source of information. For this reason, the listing of issued U.S. patents presented herein was prepared. The majority of these patents were granted to American inventors, although a number of foreign inventors also filed patents in the U.S.. Both kinds of patents are included. The list contains microscope-related U.S. patents that were issued between the years 1853 to 1915. These patents were identified in a search of a commercial database that indexed the full text of patents granted since 1836. Because of a fire at the U.S. patent office in 1836, patent documents created prior to that time no longer exist. However, a listing of patent titles and the names of the inventors for patents granted in the years 1790-1829 has been reconstructed from other sources.4 A search of both this list and the commercial database showed that there were no microscope-related patents granted prior to 1853. It was decided to restrict the listing to those patents issued before 1916.

The list below includes the inventor's name, patent title, patent number, issue date, a brief description of the significance of the invention, and, where known, the firm to which the patent was assigned. The list is sorted based on the patent number and issue date. On an alternate page, the list can be viewed along with the patent drawings.

For each entry, the patent document can be downloaded by clicking on the patent number. You will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer to access these documents (download it here). Clicking on the patent number will open the document within a browser window. Alternatively, when using Windows, you can download the file to your computer by right clicking and choosing 'Save Target As' from the popup menu.

  1. Gage, S. H., Microscopy in America (1830-1945), Trans. Amer. Microscopical Soc., LXXXIII, No. 4, supplement, Chap IV, 27, 1964
  2. Wheatland, D. P., The Apparatus of Science at Harvard 1765-1800, Harvard University 1969, 179-188.
  3. Richards, O., Charles A. Spencer and his Microscopes. Rittenhouse, 2, 1988, 70-81.
  4. List of all U.S. Patents and Patentees: 1790 - 1829

antique microscope patents

View list with patent drawings

clickClick the patent number to download the patent documentclick



Patent Number



H. Le Riemondie Surgical Instrument for Examining the Ear 9581 Feb. 8, 1853 An ear and eye microscope.
Robert B. Tolles Optical Instrument 13603 Sept. 25, 1855 A solid eyepiece for use with microscopes or telescopes..
Rene. P. P. Dagron Portable Microscope 33031 Aug. 13,1861 A miniature simple microscope that can be worn as jewelry.
Henry Craig Improvement in Microscopes 34409 Feb. 18, 1862 The Craig microscope. A primitive simple microscope.
John Ellis Improvement in Microscopes 42843 May 24, 1864 A form of "Flea" microscope for opaque objects.
William Wales Improvement in Microscopes 46511 Feb. 21, 1865 An objective with a correction collar and alternating back lenses.
John J. Bausch An Improvement in Microscopes 47382 Apr. 25, 1865 A collapsible simple pocket microscope.
Charles B. Richards Improvements in Adjustments for Optical Instruments 47860 May 23, 1865 A new type of coarse focusing used with some microscopes made by J. & W. Grunow
Charles B. Boyle Improvement in Lenses. 52672 Feb. 20, 1866 A "cornea" front lens applied to the objective of a microscope or telescope.
Hamilton H. Smith Improvement in Microscopes 52901 Feb. 27, 1866 A vertical illuminator with rotating diaphragm.
Laban Heath Improvement in Optical Instruments 54542 May 8, 1866 A combination microscope, telescope, and magnifying glass.
Robert B. Tolles Binocular Eyepiece for the Microscope 56125 July 3, 1866 Binocular vision is affected within the eyepiece.
Otis N. Chase Improvement in Microscopes 56178 July 10, 1866 A simple microscope with a transparent chamber
L. F. Morawetz Vertical Solar Camera 59438 Nov. 6, 1866 Can be applied to a solar microscope.
James H. Logan Improvement in Single Microscopes 93895 Aug 17, 1869 A botanical type microscope made of wood.
John J. Bausch Improvement in Microscopes 151746 June 9, 1874 A simple microscope with interchangeable lenses. The B&L Excelsior Pocket Microscope.
George Wale Improvement in Microscopes 178391 June 6, 1876 A novel focusing arrangement and substage mounting, Wale diaphragm.
Joseph Zentmayer Improvement in Microscopes 181120 Aug. 15, 1876 A swinging substage for oblique illumination.
Ernst Gundlach Improvement in Microscopes 182919 Oct. 3, 1876 The fine adjustment used with the first Bausch & Lomb microscopes.
James Pool Improvement in Walking-Canes 195949 Oct. 9, 1877 A walking cane that can be converted to a microscope or telescope.
Laban Heath Improvement in Stands for Magnifying-Glasses 198542 Dec. 25, 1877 A magnifying glass on a folding stand.
Ernst Gundlach Improvements in Stages for Microscopes 198607 Dec. 25, 1877 A glass stage with sliding slide holder as used by Bausch & Lomb.
Robert B. Tolles Improvement in Microscopes 198782 Jan. 1, 1878 A graduated swinging substage. Used in the Tolles "C" model.
Robert B. Tolles Improvement in Microscopes 198783 Jan. 1, 1878 An improvement of the swinging substage.
Ernst Gundlach An Improvement in Object-Glasses for Microscopes 198914 Jan. 1, 1878 An objective with a liquid between the front lens and an outer flat glass front.
John J. Bausch Improvement in Microscopes 199015 Jan. 8, 1878 The Bausch & Lomb American Agriculturist Microscope.
William B. Closson Improvment in Finger-rings 203323 May 7, 1878 A Stanhope lens embedded in a finger-ring.
Ernst Gundlach Improvement in Microscopes 211507 Jan. 21, 1879 A new fine adjustment mechanism and sliding stage.
Henry J. Deal Improvement in Microscopes for Examining Flour and Bolting-Cloths 214283 Apr. 15, 1879 A simple thread-counting microscope.
Walter H. Bulloch Improvement in Microscopes 215878 May 27, 1879 A swinging substage with independent movement of the condenser and mirror.
Ernst Gundlach Improvement in Eye-pieces and Objectives for Telescopes and Microscopes 222132 Dec. 2, 1879 An eyepiece with compound eye-lens.
Walter H. Bulloch Turn-Tables for Microscope Slides 226648 Apr. 20, 1880 A new form of slide preparation turntable.
E. J. Molera & J. C. Cebrian Microscope 230320 July 20,1880 A form of inverted binocular microscope
John J. Bausch Microscope 230688 Aug. 3, 1880

The Bausch & Lomb folding portable dissecting microscope.

John W. Sidle A Turn-Table for Mounting Microscopic Objects 235030 Nov. 30, 1880

A self-centering slide preparation turn-table with geared mechanism.

Lyman D. McIntosh Heliostat 250672 Dec. 13, 1881 An arrangement for a solar microscope.
C. F. Lomb & E. Bausch Trichinoscope 251721 Jan. 3, 1882 An arrangement consisting of a hand-held microscope and compressor.
Benaiah Titcomb Solar Camera 253959 Feb. 21, 1882 Can be applied to a solar microscope.
Philip H. Yawman Microscope 262634 Aug. 15, 1882 A differential screw fine adjustment. Used on later Bausch & Lomb microscopes.
Forrest B. Gould Microscopic Photographic Transparency 271838 Feb. 6, 1883 A microscope for viewing a transparent photograph. A form of Stanhope.
James L. Pease Tube-Coupling 272315 Feb. 13, 1883 A quick change microscope objective adapter
Lyman D. McIntosh Microscope 273752 March 13, 1883 A microscope with a detachable top section for use as a projection microscope.
Edward Bausch Microscopic Illuminator 277869 May 22, 1883 Use of an electric light illuminator attached to the substage.
Walter H. Bulloch Objective Attachment in Microscopes 287904 Nov. 6, 1883 A quick-change objective mounting.
Edward Bausch Binocular Microscope 293217 Feb. 12, 1884 A novel swivel mounting of the Wenham prism.
William K. Kidder Microscope 295770 March 25, 1884 A hand-held simple microscope allowing application of an electric current to the specimen.
Edward Bausch Microscope 328277 Oct. 13, 1885 Manufacturing methods used for Bausch & Lomb microscopes.
Charles Fasoldt Microscope 334009 Jan. 12, 1886 A geared mechanism for coarse focusing the microscope.
Charles W. Palmer Glass Slide for Microscopes 336257 Feb. 16, 1886 A beveled glass slide allowing oblique illumination.
Benjamin F. Allen Microscope 352639 Nov. 16, 1886 A new rack and pinion mechanism for focusing.
Ezra H. Griffith Microscopist's Turn-table 354130 Dec. 14, 1886

A slide preparation turntable as supplied with the Club microscope.

Edward Bausch Invertible Microscope 373634 Nov. 22, 1887 Microscopes that convert from conventional to inverted configuration. B&L University and Laboratory models.
Stiles Frost Microscope 407192 July 16, 1889 A simple microscope with stacked lenses and rotating object holder.
Barton S. Molyneux Coin-controlled Cyclorama 438170 Oct. 14, 1890 A mechanism that can be used for a coin-controlled "museum" microscope.
A. W. & A. H. Roovers Coin-controlled Microscope 439189 Oct. 28, 1890 A type of coin operated "Museum" microscope.
A. W. & A. H. Roovers Coin-controlled Microscope 439190 Oct. 28, 1890 A type of coin operated "Museum" microscope.
Lucius E. Sayre Dissecting-Microscope 463168 Nov. 17, 1891 A dissecting microscope where the specimen and microscope are held in one hand while in use.
Lancaster Thomas Compound Microscope 475362 May 24, 1892 A new construction of the rack and pinion of a microscope.
Henry E. Stauffer Toy Microscope 493529 March 14, 1893 A form of mechanical Stanhope with multiple images.
Ferderick W. Gardam Toy Microscope 513912 Jan. 30, 1894 A form of Stanhope where images are carried on a circular disk.
Hiram G. Sedgwick Slow-Motion Attachment for Microscopes 528211 Oct. 30, 1894 A new form of fine adjustment.
Robert L. Stevens Combined Telescope, Microscope, and Camera 533325 Jan. 29, 1895 A telescope with a slit at the eye-end for a microscope slide.
James P. Swift Mechanical Stage for Microscopes 536552 March 26, 1895 A detachable mechanical stage. Used on portable models such as the Histological.
Robert L. Stevens Combined Telescope, Microscope, and Camera 545743 Sept. 3, 1895 A telescope with a slit at the eye-end for a microscope slide.
Lancaster Thomas Centering Device 571584 Nov. 17, 1896 A substage centering mechanism.
Edward Bausch Microscope 577344 Feb. 16, 1897 The fine adjustment used on the Bausch & Lomb "continental" models.
Frederick W. Gradam Microscope 580522 Apr. 13, 1897 A Simple hand-held microscope with objects placed on a rotating disk.
Edward Bausch Microscope Attachment 588689 Aug. 24, 1897 A detachable mechanical stage used on the B&L continental models.
Anton Wagner Magnifying Glass 590798 Sept. 28, 1897 A double lens hand-held magnifier
E. Bausch & A. Koehler Microscope 617007 Jan. 3, 1899 A new substage used with the Bausch & Lomb "continental" models.
Hermann Zirngibl Microscope 621196 March 14, 1899 The fine adjustment for some Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Edward Bausch Microscope 658611 Sept. 25, 1900 A Bausch & Lomb case-mounted portable microscope.
Rudolph L. Fierle Microscope 660372 Oct. 23, 1900 The fine adjustment mechanism used with the Queen & Co. "continental" model.
Hermann Zirngibl Microscope 663649 Dec. 11, 1900 A fine adjustment and substage for the Spencer Lens Co. instruments.
Hermann Zirngibl Microscope 663650 Dec. 11, 1900 A substage used with Spencer Lens Co. instruments.
Nathan A. Cobb Photomicrographic Plate Holder 670842 March 26, 1901 A setup for photomicrography
Joseph Kroulik Binocular Microscope 678848 July 16, 1901 A stereoscopic binocular microscope.
Frank H. Pierpont Micrometer 679779 Aug. 6, 1901 A measuring microscope.
Alfred P. Martins Mechanical Stage for Microscopes 686466 Nov. 12, 1901 A new form of mechanical stage.
Carl F. Dieckmann Microscope 700409 May 20, 1902 A substage of the Spencer Lens Co. instruments.
Carl F. Dieckmann Mechanical Stage for Microscopes 703047 June 24, 1902 Used with the Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Frederick E. Ives A Photographic Attachment for Optical Instruments 707422 Aug. 19, 1902 An arrangement for photomicrography.
E. Bausch & G. Hommel Microscope 734501 July 28, 1903 A substage for the Bausch & Lomb Opt. Co. instruments.
Frederick E. Ives Binocular Microscope 739182 Sept. 15, 1903 A form of binocular microscope.
Arthur F. Edney Microscope 745584 Dec. 1, 1903 A prism attachment to the tube that reverses the image.
William J. Patterson Objective-Holder for Microscopes 775934 Nov. 29, 1904 A Bausch & Lomb quick change nosepiece.
Carl Reichert Pivotable-Microscope-stand 814565 March 6, 1906 Reichert's version of the jug-handle microscope.
Otto H. F. Vollbehr Micrographic Microscope 827896 Aug. 7, 1906 A German hand-held microscope for viewing microphotographs.
Harey N. Ott Microscope 829422 Aug. 28, 1906 A fine adjustment and carrying-handle for Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Henry H. Hughes Physician's Cabinet 842669 Jan. 29, 1907 A cabinet with a specific place to store a microscope and slide preparation items.
Alexandrina Taylor Adjustment Device for Camera Lucidas 853136 May 7, 1907 A new form of adjustable camera lucida for the microscope.
Harey N. Ott Fine Adjustment Mechanism 866383 Sept 17, 1907 A new side-mounted fine adjustment for the Spencer Lens Co. Jug-handle microscopes.
Edward Bausch Microscope 873007 Dec. 10, 1907 Focusing mechanisms used with the Bausch & Lomb projection microscope.
Joseph H. Ford Microscope 883868 Apr. 7, 1908 A microscope with 2 adjustable parabolic substage mirrors.
Robert L. Watkins Combined Microscope and Camera 893823 July 21, 1908 An arrangement for photomicrography.
Robert L. Watkins Mechanical Stage for Microscopes and the Like 893957 July 21, 1908 A mechanical stage with oscillating and reciprocating motions using 1 control.
Frank N. Merwin Photomicrographical Apparatus 899793 Sept. 29, 1908 An apparatus for obtaining stereoscopic pictures of microscopic objects.
Edward Bausch Nose-piece for Microscopes 905633 Dec. 1, 1908 A rotating objective changer. Bausch & Lomb.
Henry Siedentopf Illuminating System 929795 Aug. 3, 1909 A form of a Carl Zeiss substage condenser.
Horace A. Reynolds Microscope Gage for Fine Measurements 936667 Oct.12, 1909 An eyepiece micrometer.
E. Bausch & W. L. Patterson Microscope 949749 Feb. 22, 1910 A fine adjustment used in the Bausch & Lomb jug-handle model microscope.
Jaun N. Arriaga Eyepiece for Magnifying Instruments 967143 Aug. 9, 1910 A multi-lens eyepiece.
Albert Sauveur A Magnetic Specimen-Holder for Microscopes 977842 Dec. 6, 1910 A magnetic mechanical stage for use with metals.
James G. Poe Microtome attachment for Microscopes 979333 Dec. 20, 1910 A microtome that attaches to the microscope.
H. N. Ott & K. Leuchsenring Fine Adjustment for Microscopes 987393 March 21, 1911; Found on the Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Albert Sauveur Microscope-Bridge and Electromagnetic Stage 1007978 Nov. 7, 1911 A microscope with an electromagnetic stage for examining metals.
Henry Siedentopf Collective System 1016369 Feb. 6, 1912 Carl zeiss dark field microscope condenser.
H. N. Ott & K. Leuchsenring Nose-Piece for Microscopes 1023390 Apr. 16, 1912 A rotating objective holder for Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Emory W. Goodrich Projection Apparatus 1038349 Sept. 10, 1912 Can be applied to a projection microscope.
Robert L. Watkins Photomicrographic and Projection Apparatus 1049182 Dec. 31, 1912 A setup for Photomicrography
E. Bausch et. al. Projection Apparatus 1059969 Apr. 29, 1913 Can be applied to a projection microscope.
Charles H. Pixyl Corneal Microscope 1073436 Sept. 16, 1913 Assigned to the F. A. Hardy & Co.
Henery Hayes Mechanical Microscope-stage 1080968 Dec. 9, 1913 A form of mechanical stage.
Franz Meyer Device for the Fine Adjustment of Microscopes 1106956 Aug. 11, 1914 Used in Carl Zeiss, Jena microscopes.
William L. Patterson Microscope 1115011 Oct, 27, 1914 A fine adjustment for Bausch & Lomb microscopes.
Ferdinand Putz Microscope 1117242 Nov. 17, 1914 A microscope with a removable stage.
William L. Patterson Fine Adjustment for Microscopes 1123583 Jan. 5, 1915 A fine adjustment for Bausch & Lomb microscopes.
Alfred Cornell Microscope and Telescope 1128761 Feb. 16, 1915 The Davidson, London combination microscope and telescope.
Harvey N. Ott Microscope 1129502 Feb. 23, 1915 A Substage used with Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Philip A. Sheaff Circle-Drawing Attachments for Microscopes 1129742 Feb. 23, 1915 An attachment that fits on the objective mounting that can mark a circle on the slide.
Nathan A. Cobb Microscope-Cover-Glass-Centering Device 1139165 May 11, 1915 A simple method to center the cover glass.
Tiodolf Lidberg Microscope Warm Stage 1144941 June 29, 1915 A hot stage activated by electric heating.
Tiodolf Lidberg An Incubator for Microscope-Stages 1144942 June 29, 1915 A hot stage with trough activated by electric heating.
H. N. Ott & K. Leuchsenring Microscopes 1149401 Aug. 10, 1915 The focusing adjustments for Spencer Lens Co. microscopes.
Robert L. Watkins Photomicrographic Camera 1161556 Nov. 23, 1915 An arrangement for photomicrography.


Additional non-indexed patents 1916-1922:




















antique microscope patents

View list with patent drawings

Home Page-Antique Microscopes       Site Index

(c)2006 antique-microscopes.com