Engraved on the inset brass handle of the case is
the name of the original owner, C.J. Svehla
George Wale was born in the U.S. in 1840 from
parents who emigrated from England. He initially worked with
partners. There are known instruments signed "Hawkers & Wale" as
well as those signed "Morrison & Wale". By the late 1870's he
was working alone.
The following was extracted from: Practical Hints on the
Selection and Use of the Microscope, by John Phin, 1877
CONTINENTAL MODEL. As made by Geo Wale, Paterson. N. J.
The Continental Form. Most of the stands made by
the better class of French, German and Austrian microscope makers
are characterized by a low, compact form, and great simplicity and
solidity of construction. Our engraving, Plate I, shows a very
serviceable instrument, manufactured by Mr. George Wale, formerly of
the Stevens' Institute, now of Paterson, New Jersey. The general
form of this stand is very similar to that of the large model of
Nachet, of Paris, but the details of construction have been changed
considerably, and we think for the better in many respects. The
coarse movement is effected by means of a pinion and chain, the
latter being kept tight by means of a spring instead of by a screw,
as is the common method, and as the pinion round which the chain is
wound is milled so that the links fit into it, all slip is avoided,
and there is positively no "lost motion" whatever the movement
responding promptly in either direction even when suddenly reversed.
The fine movement consists of a lever which carries the entire body
(coarse movement included) downward by means of a spring, and upward
by means of a screw, the milled head of which is placed below the
arm which carries the body. This brings both movements so close
together that the hand may be kept on both at the same time the
thumb and fore finger operating the coarse movement, while the third
and fourth fingers make the fine adjustment.
A peculiarity of this microscope is found in the
method by which the pillars which support the arm are attached to
the foot. Instead of being screwed directly to the foot or cast on
it, as is sometimes the case, they are screwed to a circular plate
which rotates with a smooth and firm motion. This enables the
microscopist to plane the horse-shoe either behind the stage, when
the instrument is used in a horizontal or greatly inclined position
(as shown in the engraving), or in front of it when used in a
vertical position. This confers great steadiness, with a
comparatively light and convenient base.
As our purpose is not to give a minute
description of any of these stands, but merely to call attention to
their characteristic features, we omit all mention of the very
ingenious devices which Mr. Wale has introduced into its
construction, such as his new form of iris diaphragm, etc.
The advantages of this general form of stand are,
that it is low and compact, so that it can be easily used in a
vertical position a favorite method with physicians and
histologists. And so generally has it become a favorite, that most
of our best makers have found themselves compelled to furnish
microscopes of this model in order to retain their customers.
Grunow, McAllister, Zentmayer, and others in this country, and even
such English makers as Beck, Crouch, etc., have recently begun to
manufacture microscopes of the Continental model in addition to
their other styles.
The novel iris diaphragm on this microscope is
covered in the June
6, 1876 patent granted to Wale.
Iris Diaphragms.To the "
Working Microscope " of G. Wale an inexpensive and very simple
and ingenious form of " iris" is adapted, shown (separated) in
Fig. 121. It consists of a piece of very thin cylindrical tube
A, about 3/4 inch in length and 2 in. diameter, the whole
circumference of which is cut through with shears to nearly its
whole length at intervals of about 1/4 inch ; by means of a
screw-collar B, attached below, this cut tube is forced into a
parabolic metal shell (contained within C) whose apex is
truncated to an aperture of about 3/8 inch ; the pressure of the
screw causes the thin metal tongues to turn and to overlap in a
spiral which gradually diminishes the aperture to the size of a
pin-hole. On unscrewing the collar B, the spiral overlapping of
the tongues is released somewhat, and their elasticity causes
the aperture gradually to expand. As adapted to the stage of the
" Working Microscope," the iris, when unscrewed until its
aperture is smallest, is then almost in contact with the base of
the slide ; when at its largest expansion it is about 1/16 inch
lower. The whole device is fitted into the opening of the stage
from beneath (so as to be flush with the upper surface) with one
turn of a very coarse screw on the edge of C, a far more
convenient plan than the " bayonet joint."