James W. Queen & Co., Phila. (no serial number)

The Acme No. 3 Model Microscope. c. 1890

ames W. Queen & Co., Phila.. The Acme No. 3 Model Microscope

James W. Queen & Co., Phila.. The Acme No. 3 Model Microscope

Pennock centering substage

Pennock's substage centering mechanism. Adjustment of the 2 steel levers allows the substage holder to be centered on the optical axis.

glass stage and slide carrier

Glass stage and sliding slide carrier

The Acme No. 3 Model Microscope

Excerpt from the Pocket Catalogue of Microscopes, Magnifiers, Microscopical Accessories, Mounting Materials, etc., James W. Queen & Co., 1892

ACME No. 3  MICROSCOPE, NEW MODEL.

The entire microscope is of brass, highly finished, and of the most perfect workmanship, The body may be set at any angle of inclination most convenient.

The rack and pinion adjustment has a long range and is of the most perfect smoothness and delicacy of action. The fine adjustment is a very delicate and truly-working one, suitable the highest powers. The body is firmly carried upon rollers and is moved by a lever actuated by a screw at the rear of to arm. The head of screw is graduated.

The stage has complete rotation. The rotating plate is removable, and an extra pair of spring clips is furnished to use with the fixed stage.

The sub-stage is movable on the mirror bar, is of the gauge most usually adopted, and carries an adapter having Society screw. To this is screwed an iris diaphragm, convenient shaped liked a short objective, for regulating the amount of light to a nicety. This may be placed close to the objective, or at the required distance.

The mirrors (plane and concave) are also adjustable on the mirror bar; the mirrors, when in their usual position, rest at the focal distance of the concave from the object, an apparent small point, but in reality a very important one. Mirrors alone or with the sub-stage, may be swung obliquely, or above the stage. Graduated disk back of the stage registers the degree of obliquity, and may be used for the measurement of angular aperture.

Both the stage and sub-stage are susceptible of centering adjustments, by loosening the capstan-head screws which holds them in position, centering by hand, and tightening again by a steel key furnished with the instrument.

Wear of moving parts is provided for throughout.

This is an instrument which we can recommend as being well adapted for work of even the very highest grade, as, for example, bacteriological investigations (which require the highs power lenses, with suitable illuminating apparatus, and a stand having accurate adjustments for both.)

Some recent features of design as applied to this instrument are: 1st a stop, or click, into which the mirror bar falls when centrally placed; or at zero; 2nd, a knife-edge, or index, for making accurate reading of scale on fine adjustment screw head; 3rd, the latter is made with a doubled milled edge, between which cord may be run for focusing when the microscope is used for photography (for which it is well adapted).


The Acme line of microscopes was first introduced in 1879 by the firm Sidle and Poalk of Philadelphia. The first microscope made by the firm was called "The Acme", an example of which with serial number 17 can be found on this website. By 1880, the firm was located in Lancaster Pennsylvania under the name John W. Sidle & Co. or the "Acme Optical Works". Subsequently, the entire output of the Acme factory was consigned to the retailer and manufacturer of scientific instruments, James W. Queen of Philadelphia. Five models of the Acme microscopes were produced numbered 2-6. The No. 3 on this page is a refined example of the original design.

Elsewhere on this website is another example of the Acme No. 3 microscope having a brass rotating stage plate.. Also see examples of the Acme models No. 4 and No. 5. There are some references in the literature to an Acme model No. 2, but I have not been able to locate an actual example of this microscope..

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