Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed)

Microscope unsigned by the maker, c. 1880

Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880 Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880
Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880 Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880
Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880 Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880
Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880 Leopold Schrauer, New York (attributed) unsigned microscope, c. 1880
Schrauer Physician's microscope

Although unsigned by the maker, this microscope can confidently be attributed to Leopold Schrauer of New York. It was mostly likely made during the 1880s time period. It measures about 13.5-inches in height inclined as shown in some of the photos. It is constructed with lacquered brass and black enameled cast iron. The height can be extended with a draw-tube. Coarse focusing is by rack and pinion and the fine focus is by a screw operating on a lever mechanism imbedded in the limb. The microscope is equipped with a swinging mirror bar, which can swing above the stage to illuminate opaque objects. This instrument was found in Tucson Arizona without a storage case or extra accessories.

Some features seen on this microscope are very similar to what can be seen on some signed Schrauer microscopes. In particular, this microscope can be compared with Schrauer's "Physicians Model" microscope. Both have the same limb with its imbedded lever fine focus mechanism. The main focus knobs have an identical and an unusually deep concave shape, a feature sometimes seen on some other Schrauer microscopes. The fine focus knobs on both instruments are the same. The mirror and the its support arm are identical on each microscope. In common with the "Physicians Model" and many other Schrauer microscopes, this microscope has the wheel of apertures built into the stage surface. Both microscopes have an identical bayonet fitting under the stage for mounting sub-stage accessories. This microscope has a Hartnack objective. It is known that Schrauer often supplied his microscopes with objectives from this maker. One feature not seen before by me on a Schrauer microscope is the cast iron black enameled base. Even so, this base has the same shape as the brass base on the "Physicians Model". Over all, one could say that this microscope is a simplified and less expensive version of the "Physicians Model"; perhaps, it was intended to be a student’s model.


Leopold Schrauer first began the manufacture of microscopes in Boston. By 1877, he was located in New York City at various addresses. Schrauer microscopes are relatively uncommon compared to some of the other American makers of the period. In the book entitled A Short History of the Early American Microscopes by D. Pagitt, it is stated "It is somewhat strange that Schrauer's microscopes are not more common today, since he was apparently in business for more than 20 years. This may be partially explained by Schrauer's proclamation that he gave no discount to the trade which would indicate that he did not have access to the traditional marketing agencies". Schrauer did not use serial numbers for his microscopes. As a consequence of this, it is often difficult to date them precisely. Most likely this microscope was made sometime during the 1880s.

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