A group of French microscopes c.1860

Unsigned, but each apparently made by the same manufacturer

Two French microscopes c. 1860

Two early French microscopes c. 1860

These microscopes have a number of features in common which suggests that they originated from the same workshop. The three on the right have a unique stage focusing mechanism consisting of a stationary pinion operating on a moveable rack which is embedded within the pillar and which is attached to the stage. Each microscope has an identical mirror and mirror mounting. These microscopes can frequently be found in  different configurations, either as stand-alone versions mounted on a brass disk or as case-mounted microscopes. Although the country of origin for these instruments is not known with certainy, it is assumed they are of French manufacture dating from the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. They can be found with the typical French triple button achromatic objectives or with separate non-achromatic objectives. An example of one of these microscopes, the third from the left, has been been observed having a storage box with an importer's trade label marked "Benj. Pike & Sons, 518 Broadway, New York". This firm had this name and address from 1855 to around 1863, thus helping to establish an approximate date for these instruments.

An example of the third microscope from the left has been observed with a signature on the tube: Golvin, Opticien, 9 Passage Jouffroy, Paris while an example of the microscope on the far left has been observed with the signature: J K├╝bler Ing Opt, 23 Passage du Saumon, Paris; it is not clear if either firm is a manufacturer or just a retailer of these microscopes.

simple microscope with three lenses

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