Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type)

Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

The microscope is supplied with a triple button objective (divisible for power change), another two component objective in a long mount, two eyepieces, and a set of dissection tools. In addition, there is a group of ten paper covered slides by J. Bourgogne.

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Imported French Drum Microscope  (Nachet type). Signed on the tube McAllister & Brother, Philadelphia, c. 1855

Microscope manufacturing in America began near the end of the 2nd quarter of the 19th century. At mid century, very few American made microscopes were produced. During that time, many of the microscopes that were available in this country were imported primarily from France and England. One of the major importers were the members of the McAllister family of opticians located in initially in Philadelphia. The McAllister family was involved in the instrument/optical trade since the late 18th century beginning with the business started by John McAllister in Philadelphia (see: the Family Business Timeline also The McAllister Family). The firm used the name McAllister & Brother (William Y. and Thomas H.), as signed ot the tube of this microscope, during the period from 1853 through to the early 1860's. By 1855, the business was located at 728 Chestnut St., the address on the label attached on the inside cover of the storage case.

While this microscope is signed by the US retailer, it is unsigned by the actual manufacturer. A very similar drum microscope signed Nachet Opticien, rue Serpente 16, Paris is also in this collection. it is very likely that the microscope shown on this page was also made by Camille Sébastien Nachet (1799-1881). A drum microscope, such as the two examples mentioned here, having a column with a square cross section does not appear in the 1856 or later Nachet catalogs suggesting that these microscopes date prior to 1856.

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