The firm was
established by James Smith, one of the three
premier English microscope manufacturers of the
Victorian era (the two others were A. Ross and H.
Powell), around 1839. In 1847 Richard Beck became a
partner in the firm and was shortly followed by his
brother Joseph Beck in 1857. After the retirement of
Smith in 1865, the firm was known as R&J Beck.
Read about the Universal Microscope as
described in Richard Beck's The Achromatic
The Smith and Beck
delivery books indicate the this microscope was
purchased by E. Clift in May 1862. The books also
show that Mr. Clift purchased a total of 10
microscopes that year. Elsewhere on this website is an example of the
binocular version of this microscope.