French bar-limb microscope with Varley stage.

Trade label of John C. Sack, San Francisco, c. 1870

French  bar-limb microscope with  Varley  stage.  Trade label of John C. Sack, San Francisco. c. 1870

Trade label of John C. Sack, San Francisco. c. 1870

Varley stage

French  bar-limb microscope with  Varley  stage.   c. 1865

The magnification chart found with the microscope clearly indicates its French origin:

magnifiaction chart


The following quote is taken from The Makers of Surveying Instruments in American Since 1700 by Charles E. Smart, 1962:

"JOHN C. SACK (1823 -       )

San Francisco, California

He is first listed in 1858 directory, no occupation, same address as Thomas Tennett, Battery Street. From 1861 thru 1888 he is listed as an instrument maker with Thomas Tennett, Battery Street. From 1889 thru 1895 he is apparently by himself at #4 California Room 7. In 1895 his residence is given as 540-1/2 - 15th. He is not listed in the 1896 directory. The Federal Census of 1880 lists him as being 57 years old and born in Germany."

Apparently Smart has no information about Sach when he was located at 203 Montgomery St. However, an ad place in the Daily Alta California, Vol. 18, dated 1866 states: "JOHN C. SACK, OPTICIAN, HAVING just received a large invoice of Surveyors' Instruments, Drawing Instruments, Opera Glasses, Spectacles, etc., etc., would be pleased to have his friends and the public call and examine his stock before purchasing. --- No. 203 Montgomery St., near Bush". He is also listed at this address in The San Francisco Directory for the year 1874.


A very similar microscope (see below) was sold by the London instrument maker and retailer J. Amadio as illustration in the 1857 Catalogue of Achromatic Microscopes and other Optical, Philosophical and Mathematical Instruments Manufactured and Sold by J. Amadio, Optician of the Admiralty, 7, Throgmorton Street, London. It is presumed that this microscope was a French import.

microscope from the J. Amadio 1957 catalog

An identical example of this microscope has been observed with the signature: Aug Patte, Rue de Rivoli N 168, Paris

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