W. H. Bulloch, Chicago, Pat. 1879, #260

The No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope. c.1883

W. H. Bulloch, Chicago, Pat. 1879,  #260. The No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope W. H. Bulloch, Chicago, Pat. 1879,  #260. The No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope
W. H. Bulloch, Chicago, Pat. 1879,  #260. The No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope W. H. Bulloch, Chicago, Pat. 1879,  #260. The No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope
mechanical stage signature
swinging substage

w. h. bulloch, chicago, pat. 1879, #260. the no. 1 professional binocular microscope. c.1883 . mirror and condenser move independently

The basis of Bulloch's 1879 patent is the independent rotation of the mirror arm and condenser arm around the point defined by the object on the stage. The angular positions of the arms are indicated by silvered scales.

w. h. bulloch, chicago, pat. 1879, #260. the no. 1 professional binocular microscope. c.1883 . accessories

While this microscope was purchased without its storage case, it did come with a number of its original accessories among which were a matched pair of eyepieces, two additional higher power eyepieces, four objectives by W. Wales, NY ( marked 1 1/2, 2/3, 1/2, and 1/5 inch, the last with correction collar), a safety nosepiece for monocular use, and a sub-stage Gillet diaphragm.

When this microscope was purchased for this collection, the original surface finish was completely removed by a previous owner. It has now been fully restored to its original condition. On opening the mirror cell, an old circular piece of a postcard was found that was used to separate the two mirror glasses; it has a cancellation date of 1883, thereby establishing a firm date of manufacture for this instrument.

The following was extracted from the 1890 Bulloch catalog:


(Patented 1879)

This instrument has the same general construction as the Congress, but is a smaller instrument. The tubes and binocular arrangement are the same. It has the concentric, rotating and mechanical Stage, with graduations for measuring angles. It is also adjustable; so that it can be accurately and perfectly controlled under a 1/50 objective. There are graduations connected with the horizontal and vertical movements of though stage, by which the exact position of an object can be noted and found with more certainty than with the Maltwood finder. The stage is sufficiently thin to admit an angle of oblique light as high as 157 degrees. The diameter of the stage is 4 1/2 inches, and range of mechanical motion, 1 inch in each direction.

The sub-stage is fitted with complete movements, for central or oblique light; the center of which it revolves is in a plane, with the object on the stage. It has a graduated circle, so that the obliquity with an achromatic condenser can be noted, and can be used at any angle under or over the stage. The sub-stage is made in two parts. The lower, which is adapted for the polarizer, can be swung to one side without disturbing the condenser; and between the upper and lower fittings of the sub-stage, there is an adaptor that swings for the convenience of holding diaphragms or selenites; and for the convenience of changing accessories, the whole sub-stage is arranged to swing on a pivot at one side of the bar. The mirror is arranged to revolve around through the same center as the sub-stage, but is independent until connected. It can be moved over or under the stage.




Bulloch No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope

There is a rack and pinion attachment for focusing the sub-stage, and a micrometer screw movement for centering. The coarse adjustment is by rack and pinion. The fine motion is by a lever, moving though whole optical tube. The milled head is graduated, reading to 1/1000 and is grooved for use in photography. The monocular is fitted with a safety nose-piece. The binocular has an extra safety nose-piece and the adjustment to draw-tubes, for perfect adaptation to individual vision, is by rack and pinion, The instrument in mounted on a tripod base with revolving, graduated platform, upon which the two standards are placed, and between which the instrument may be inclined to any angle, or placed horizontally for drawing, or for measuring the angle of aperture. The center on which the instrument revolves, when fixed horizontally, is in a direct line with the object on the stage. A Gillet diaphragm, which can be placed under the object accompanies each instrument.

(The 1883 microscope shown on this page differs slightly from the 1890 model described above, in particular, with respect to the sub-stage centering mechanism and the orientation of the knobs for the Turrell type mechanical stage.)

The unique features of this microscope are described in Bulloch's 1879 patent.


bulloch's 1879 patent
bulloch's 1879 patent

The following obituary of Walter H. Bulloch was published in the American Monthly Microscopical Journal, 1892

Notice of Walter H. Bulloch.


The death of this. eminent Chicago microscope maker is a severe loss, not only to the Illinois State Society.of which lie was for nearly twenty years n prominent member, but to the cause of science at large. He was born in I835, at Glasgow. Scotland, and lived there until he was seventeen years of age. About 1852 the family emigrated to New York, where Walter learned the trade of tailor with his father. But his innate fondness for mechanical pursuits made him dissatisfied with his prospects, and he was apprenticed to Messrs. Pike & Sons, then a leading firm of opticians and instrument makers on Broadway. New York city. After serving his time he went into business until the war of the rebellion broke out, when he enlisted as a private in the 12th N. Y. volunteers. His term of service, however, was very short, as he contracted a severe cold, which developed into rheumatism, and he was incapacitated from further work, and was mustered out of service. Returning to New York he formed a partnership with William Wales, the well-known maker of objectives, and continued in business there until 1866, when he moved to Chicago. He was very successful and had accumulated considerable means, when his shop and tools were destroyed in the memorable Chicago fire of Oct. 8 and 9, 1871. And Mr. Bulloch sustained a financial loss from which he never recovered. Immediately after this misfortune, he went to Boston and was for a time connected with the late R. B. Tolles, but again returned to establish himself in Chicago. In 1889 he accepted a position connected with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in the Bureau of Weights and Measures, at Washington, but he chafed under the restraints of an official situation, and after six months experience, returned to his home here. Before he left his health had begun to fail, and after his return late in the fall of 1890 he suffered still more. But his indomitable perseverance led him to struggle on. He opened a place at No. 303 Dearborn street, in a very advantageous business portion of the city, and began work again. It was not for long. After struggling with disease for about six months he was compelled to stop forever. He died Nov. 5. 1891. at Elgin III., where he had gone for treatment by Dr. IP. Tyrrell. He leaves a wife but no children.

Mr. Bulloch was a man of pronounced character and indomitable energy and perseverance. To those who did not know him well he appeared brusque and sometimes even overbearing. but his numerous friends soon learned to appreciate his straightforward manner of expressing his views, his pertinacious but just demands for a proper recognition of his rights, and his outspoken criticism of what he deemed erroneous in the theories or opinions of others. In his business he was conscientious and painstaking to a fault. Often when making an instrument or piece of apparatus to order if he saw where time was room for improvement he would spend hours or days in experiments, perhaps wasting the results of all his previous labor, refusing to slight his work at any cost. Whether it was the simplest accessory or the finest microscope stand, nothing was allowed to leave his shop until it was as perfect as his trained hands could make it. His reputation was more than money, and he lived to see it world-wide. Besides being a member of the Illinois State Microscopical Society, he was a member of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Microscopists. and of the Royal Microscopical Society of London. His death leaves a gap in the rank of scientific workers which can not easily filled.

As of 2014, the highest known serial number for a Bulloch microscope was 675 suggesting that his output was much less than that for many other contemporary makers.

W. H. Bulloch, Chicago, Pat. 1879,  #260. The No. 1 Professional Binocular Microscope

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