Imported French microscope with Varley stage, c.1870

Imported French microscope, c.1870

Imported French microscope, c.1870

Imported French microscope, c.1870

Imported French microscope, c.1870

This microscope is unsigned, but the objective is marked E. B. Meyrowitz, New York, 1/5. E. B. Meyrowitz Opticians retailed microscopes and other instruments; they sold both American made and imported microscopes. This particular example is French. A very similar microscope was illustrated in the 1867 William Y. McAllister catalog. It differes from the present example in that the main focus is by draw-tube instead of a rack and pinion. The following was extracted from this William Y. McAllister catalog.

William Y. McAllister-1867

McAllister's Complete Family Microscope:13 inches high, all brass, on tripod, with joint, to incline, screw adjustment, draw tube, lever stage, with secondary stage, which is very useful diaphragm plate, mirror to give oblique light., condensing lens for opaque objects, Camera Lucida, by which the object may be traced on paper of the magnified size, Polarizing apparatus, two eye-pieces, two sets of Achromatic Object Glasses, 50 to 500 diameters. Dissecting Knife, five objects, mahogany with lock and handle.........$85.00

This is a really good Family Microscope, exhibits all the Microscopic phenomena of Direct, Oblique, and polarized light.


A similar microscope was also offered for sale in the James W. Queen Catalog of 1870. In this case, the microscope incorporated the rach and pinion focusing mechanism. It was illustrated and described as follows:

Queen's Family Microscope: brass body, 12 inches high, on brass stand, to incline to any angle, draw tube, two eye-pieces, two sets of achromatic object-glasses, condensing lens, diaphragm, double milled head, rack and pinion for coarse adjustment and micrometer screw for fine adjustment, lever stage, so that the object may be brought directly in the field of view with the greatest facility. Polarizing apparatus and selenite plate, dissecting needles, six objects. Power 50, 150, 250, 400, and 500 diameters; in a mahogany box. Price…… $75.00


Examples of this microscope signed Mirand Aime rue Galande 57, Paris and Breton Rue Dauphine, 23, a Paris are known. It is not clear who the actual maker is.

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