The Flower Microscope

Botanical compass microscope c. 1850

hand-held botanical compass microscope

From: Pike's Descriptive Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruemts, Vol. II, 1848

flower botanical microscope ivory handle


This instrument (Fig. 746) consists of a lens mounted in a brass frame, with a stem, having an ivory or ebony handle, the whole about three and a half inches long. Through the stem there is an arm, which is made to slide smoothly, and at one end a socket, in which moves stiffly a steel rod having a small milled-head at one end, and a sharp point at the other, which may be set at different heights, and turned about while viewing the object.To use the instrument, the object to be viewed is placed on the point, and the arm moved backwards and forwards in the stem till the object is seen distinctly. This instrument is convenient for viewing leaves, flowers, and parts of plants, &c, and may be used without the arm, as a hand magnifying glass.

The whole is packed in a small box. In the best kind there is an additional lens, which may be used singly or both together, producing a considerable increase and variety of power ; also a pair of small forceps for holding any object, is connected with the point; either of which may be used as may best support the object. In using the microscope, it should be held in such a way that the most light should shine on the part viewed.
Price, with one lens and point, $1.12 1/2.
“      “ with two lenses and forceps, $1.50.

It is likely that this microscope is a French import.

a view through the microscope

a view through the microscope

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