Botanical-Entomological Microscope

The School Microscope, c. 1880

Botanical-Entomological Microscope. The School Microscope, c. 1880
Botanical-Entomological Microscope. The School Microscope, c. 1880

Botanical-Entomological Microscope. The School Microscope in the case

Botanical-Entomological Microscope. The School Microscope

The following was extracted from the Priced and Illustrated Catalogue of Optical Instruments, James W. Queen & Co., Philadelphia, 1880:

The School Microscope

This instrument consists of a tubular stem about five inches high, the lower end of which screws firmly into the lid of the box wherein, instrument is packed when not in use. To the upper end of this stem the stage is firmly fixed; while the lower end carries a concave mirror. Within the tubular stem is a round pillar having a rack cut into it, against which a pinion works that is turned by a milled head; and the upper part of this pillar carries a horizontal arm which bears the lenses, so that by turning the milled head the arm may be raised or lowered, and the requisite focal adjustment obtained. Three magifiers are supplied, and by using them either separately or in combination, a considerable range of powers from about five to forty diameters is obtained. A condensing lens for opaque objects, a pair of brass forceps, and pliers, and an aquatic box for the examination of objects in water, are also supplied. This instrument is peculiarly adapted for educational purposes, being fitted in every particular for the examinstion of botanical specimens, small insects or parts of insects, water fleas, the larger animalcules, and other such objects as young people may readily collect and examine for themselves: and those who have trained themselves in the application of it to the study of nature are well prepared for the advantageous use of the Compound Microscope. But it also affords to the scientific inquirer all that is essential to the pursuit of such investigations as are best followed out by the concurrent employment of a Simple and a Compound Microscope, the former being most fitted for the preparation, and the latter for the examination of many kinds of objects; and it easily adapted to the purposes of dissection by placing it between arm-rests or blocks of wood, or books piled one on another so as to give a support for the hand on either side, at or near the level of the stage.

It is likely that this microscope is an English import. It is based on the design of the Society of Arts pattern School Microscope first introduced in 1855 when the Royal Society of Arts awarded its prize to English optician Robert Field & Son for his design of an inexpensive simple microscope. It became a very popular model and was sold by many firms.

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