This French microscope is unsigned by the maker.
It was purchased for this collection in the USA.
It was likely imported into this country. A very similar microscope is
illustrated and described in the 1867 William Y. McAllister
catalog where it was called "McAllister's Complete Family Microscope"
The following was extracted from that catalog:
Complete Family Microscope: 13 inches high, all brass, on tripod,
with joint, to incline, screw adjustment, draw tube,
lever stage, with secondary stage, which is very useful
diaphragm plate, mirror to give oblique light.,
condensing lens for opaque objects, Camera Lucida, by
which the object may be traced on paper of the
magnified size, Polarizing apparatus, two eye-pieces,
two sets of Achromatic Object Glasses, 50 to 500
diameters. Dissecting Knife, five objects, mahogany
with lock and handle.........$85.00
This is a really good
Family Microscope, exhibits all the Microscopic
phenomena of Direct, Oblique, and polarized
This particular example is unusual in that it is
nearly completely nickel plated.* It is supplied with two eyepieces
and two separate button type objectives, one with canister. There is
an alternate nose-piece that can accept an Nicol prism analyzer and
a fitting for the sub-stage that is designed to hold a polarizing prism.
The main focus is by slide tube and the fine
focus uses a micrometer screw which moves the tube and
the limb. The stage can be positioned using a lever controlled mechanism.
Tube length can be extended by draw-tube. Directly under the stage
the microscope is the rotating secondary stage that can accept accessories such
as a polarizer. Below that is an aperture wheel and a double mirror.
*It is known that certain French microscopes of this period
were plated, less commonly and at an extra expense, with palladium instead of nickel, which results
in a more durable finish. Consequently at this time, we can not be certain which
of these metals was used to plate this microscope.
In addition to McAllister, a similar microscope with an iron stand was offered in the 1859 James W. Queen & Co.
catalog where it was called "Queens Student's Microscope".
It was also sold by the instrument supplier and importer James Foster Jr. of Cincinnati as
indicated in his 1859 advertisement.
In the James W. Queen Catalog of 1870,
a version of the microscope was offered with rack and pinion focusing. One such example
is represented in this collection.
Examples of the microscope with rack and pinion
focusing are known that are signed Mirand Aime rue
Galande 57, Paris and Breton Rue Dauphine, 23, a Paris. It
is not clear who the actual maker is. It is evident that microscopes of this type
were sold not only in France, but were also exported to the USA.