An Improved model microscope with early Canadian history
supplied with this set include six objectives for use
with the compound tube, a separate high power
objective for when the instrument is used as a simple
microscope, an eye-shade for when the instrument is
used as a simple microscope into which any of the
objectives could screw, a glass bottom stage insert,
a live box, a large round glass-bottomed trough,
stage and hand forceps, a substage light cone, a
stage mounting bullseye condenser, a glass and an
ivory stage insert, a brass talc box, and a full set
of ivory sliders. As expected for a microscope of
this vintage, the internal optics consist of a double
eye lens and a large field lens within the body of
the tube. The tube length can be extended by
An identical microscope signed "Chadburn, 71 Lord St.
Liverpool" is known as is another signed "J.P. Cutts Optician to Her Majesty Sheffield". It is not clear which if any of these firms actually manufactured this type of microscope. It is possible that these instruments where made for the trade and sold by many different opticians of the period.
The microscope is of
English origin. The microscope was purchased for this
collection in Canada. A note within the case suggests
that this instrument was imported and sold to
John Steele of Ontario.
John Steele (ca.
1796-1876) was a merchant, publisher, and local
official in the area around Colborne, Northumberland
He came to Canada from
Greenock, Scotland, in 1820. He first moved to
Montreal, but later settled in the Village of
Colbourne, Cramahe Township, Northumberland County.
He established himself as a merchant in partnership
with Joseph A. Keeler. He later went into the
printing business and from 1850 to 1855 he edited and
published the Port Hope Watchman, and the Port Hope
Steele served as
Postmaster in 1824, and as a magistrate and chairman
of the Newcastle Quarter Sessions. In 1837 he was
appointed a member of the Board of Education for the
District of Newcastle, and by 1844 was Superintendent
of Schools for the District.
He was active in the
Church of Scotland and its protests against what it
considered an Anglican monopoly in the area of clergy
Steele was also a
founder and member of the first Board of Trustees of
Queen's University. He also took part in other local
organizations, including: agricultural societies; the
Canada Literacy, Manual Labour and Educational
Society,- and the Northumberland Militia, where he
held a captaincy in the 3rd regiment.