James Swift, London (attributed)

Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

James Swift, London (attributed. Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

James Swift, London (attributed). Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

 

 

James Swift, London (attributed). Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

James Swift, London (attributed). Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

 

 

James Swift, London (attributed). Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

James Swift, London (attributed). Portable folding microscope with polarization. c. 1877

James Swift, London (attributed). Portable folding microscope

While this microscope is unsigned by the maker, it has very strong similarities to some folding microscopes made by James Swift (& Son), London. Compare this monocular microscope with a signed binocular version that is also in this collection. This type of portable folding microscope was first introduced in the 1878 Swift catalog of microscopes. The microscope was offered either as a monocular or Wenham binocular. It is described in the catalog as follows:

"This Microscope is so constructed that it can be readily set up for immediate use without the necessity of having to screw any part or parts together before using, a defect so often complained of in most portable microscopes. The whole of its joints and working parts are made to compensate for wear and tear, and when ready for use, as shown in Fig. 1, is remarkably firm and steady under high magnifying power. It has sufficient coarse adjustment to work with the 5-inch objective. Lever fine adjustment with central lift. The stage is very large, and has an adjustable object-carrier, working upon glass bearings for smoothness of action, whereby an object can readily be adjusted under a one-sixteenth objective."

The microscope folds and fits snuggly within the mahogany case measuring 10 x 5 x 3 inches. It is supplied with one unsigned objective, two eyepieces numbered 1 and 3, a stage or limb mounting bullseye condenser, and a stage forceps. The main focus utilizes a straight rack and pinion and the fine focus uses a nosepiece short lever mechanism operated by a micrometer screw. Built into the bottom of the tube is an an analyzing Nicol prism in a sliding mount. The sub-stage has a polarizing prism in a rotating mount. The upper portion of the sub-stage fitting has a mounting with a Society Screw that will allow an objective to be fitted to serve as a condenser.


Another signed example of this microscope has recently sold at auction.

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