UTMB Moody Medical Library Microscope Collection in the Blocker History of Medicine Collections

The historical microscope collection housed in the Moody Medical Library is considered one of the major collections of its type owned by an academic institution in the United States. The collection consists of representative samples documenting the development of microscopy from the 18th through the first quarter of the 20th century. The work of more than 30 individual makers or firms is included.

Background

The microscope collection dates from 1967, when the Library acquired 33 microscopes from Dr. John Bunyan (1907-1983) with a grant from the Moody Foundation of Galveston. A past president of the Royal Microscopical Society in London, and a collector, Dr. Bunyan provided additional instruments as well as partial cataloging for the collection in subsequent years. Of the 82 instruments, 60 percent are associated with him. The remaining consists of microscopes from the Departments of Anatomy and Pathology, gifts from former faculty and friends of the University, and a purchase of replica microscopes.

Microscope Collections: Makers & Their Instruments

From the Microscope Gallery, you can access the images and descriptions of the instruments in the Moody Medical Library's historical collection.You will also find brief information about thirty microscope makers and firms,whose works are represented in the collection.


American Firms

   Bausch & Lomb Optical Company

MicroscopeThis is the earliest Bausch & Lomb instrument in the collection. The tripod base supports a round pillar and round limb, attached by a compass joint. The body-tube with a triple nosepiece moves by rackwork, and the fine adjustment is by the screw on the top of the limb. Below the round stage are the swinging condenser and double mirror. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. About 1887. Signed: Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.


MicroscopeBased on the Bausch & Lomb Continental model, the instrument has a horseshoe foot and a round pillar, both made of cast iron. The limb and the square stage are attached to the pillar by a compass joint. The body-tube, with a double nosepiece, moves by rackwork and fine adjustment is by the micrometer screw on top of the limb. It comes with a carrying case. About 1910. Signed: Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. Rochester, N.Y. 69085.


MicroscopeThe collection includes two all-brass Continental model microscopes by Bausch & Lomb, which are similar to the above. The instrument (1.044) with serial number 40315, and instrument (1.045), with a serial number 26124, date from the turn of the 20th century.


MicroscopeThe instrument (1.044) with serial number 40315, and instrument (1.045), with a serial number 26124, date from the turn of the 20th century.


MicroscopeThe horseshoe base and the pillar, cast as one piece, and the limb are made of iron and painted black. The brass arm supports the body-tube, which has a triple nosepiece. The coarse adjustment is by rackwork, and the screw for fine adjusting is on top of the limb. Below the square stage are a swinging Abbe condenser, an iris diaphragm, and a double mirror. The microscope was purchased in 1914 by George Hermann III, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, when he was a medical student. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. Signed: Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. Rochester, N.Y. The serial number 99168 is at the end of the tube.


   James W. Queen & Company

James W. Queen (1813-1890) established his business in 1853 and sold scientific supplies and instruments. He was the American agent for the R & J Beck microscopes and carried instruments by other makers (Zentmayer, Hartnack, and Nachet) as well. The Acme microscopes were also marketed under the name of Queen.


MicroscopeThis small microscope has a Y-shaped foot and double pillars of cast iron (cast as one piece) and painted black. The curved limb supports the body-tube, which moves by rackwork. The body is fitted with a draw-tube and a double nosepiece (one missing). A rotating mirror is attached to the tailpiece. About 1885. Signed on the rectangular stage: Jas. W. Queen & Co. Phila. 943.


   Spenser Lens Company

Spencer Lens Company was founded by Herbert R. Spencer (1849-1900) and his associates in 1895. The company was the continuation of the firm established in the 1840s by his father, Charles A. Spencer (1813-1881), who is considered the first American microscope maker. It is estimated that the company had produced about 10,000 instruments by 1909.


MicroscopeThe horseshoe base and the pillar are cast as one piece. The curved limb is attached to the base by means of trunnions. Below the square stage are the Abbe condenser, iris diaphragm, and a mirror. The body-tube with a triple nosepiece moves by rackwork, and the fine focusing is by a micrometer screw. No case and accessories. About 1930. Signed: Spencer Buffalo U.S.A. 206665.


MicroscopeThere is an earlier Spencer instrument in the collection (1.051), with similar features to the above, which may date from about 1920. Signed: Spencer Microscope ALOE Co. Sales Agents No 61515.


Austrian Firms

   Carl Reichhert

A Major manufacturer of microscopes in Europe, Reichert established his business in 1876. By 1900, his Vienna firm had produced 30,000 microscopes.


MicroscopeThe horseshoe-shaped base is attached to a rectangular pillar that supports the stage and the limb with an arm. The body-tube moves on the rackwork and has a triple nosepiece. The swinging substage consists of a condenser and iris diaphragm, and moves vertically by rackwork. This microscope was purchased by William Gammon, M.D., a Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in Vienna in 1893 or 1894. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories (three cases for objectives). Signed: C. Reichert Wien No 15911.


MicroscopeA smaller student microscope (1.022) with a horseshoe-shaped foot, tubular pillar that supports the tube and the stage, and signed, "C. Reichert Wien No 45247." Dates from the early part of the 20th century.


MicroscopeMoody Medical Library has two other microscopes by C. Reichert: A compound microscope (1.023), similar to (1.047), except with a double nosepiece and a rotating stage, and signed, "C. Reichert Wien 64650" Both (1.022 ) and (1.023) date from the early part of the 20th century.


British Firms

   George Adams

George Adams, the Younger (1750-1795) continued the business established by his father, George Adams, the Elder (1704-1772). The senior Adams published a popular work, Micrographia Illustrata (1746), and introduced a number of improvements in microscope design. His son was also the author of several works.


MicroscopeThe Cuff-type instrument is attached to the box-foot by a square pillar, which supports the body-tube, stage and the mirror. Focusing is by rackwork that moves the stage. The drawer includes accessories (objective lenses, Lieberkuhn reflector, fish plate, stage forceps, and brass slider.) The whole instrument fits into a pyramid-shaped mahogany case upon removing the body-tube. The instrument is very similar to the "Improved Double and Single Microscope," featured in Adams' Essays on the Microscope (1787). About 1790. Signed: G. Adams No 60 Fleet Street London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.010).


MicroscopeAdditional Photographs: Signature (1.010).


MicroscopeThis unsigned, brass instrument is very similar to the "Improved Compound Microscope" shown in Adams' Essays on the Microscope (1787). The folding tripod base supports the round, tapered pillar. The round limb, attached to the pillar by a compass joint, holds the platform fitted with a spring stage and the arm, supporting the body-tube. A swinging mirror slides along the square-section bar attached to the limb. The instrument fits into a wooden case, and no accessories are present, except an ivory slider. It is possible that this is a German copy of the Adams model, as the construction of the box, lined with olive green woolen cloth and mahogany inlaids, appears different from the boxes of English instruments. About 1790.


   Charles Baker

The London firm of Charles Baker sold a variety of scientific instruments, including imported German instruments by Leitz, Reichert, and Zeiss. The Baker establishment at Hign Holborn remained in business from 1851 to 1909.


MicroscopeBuilt to the popular Ross design, the microscope displays the typical Y-shaped foot, vertical pillars, boxy limb with a tubular tailpiece, the body-tube with a transverse arm that attaches to the limb. It comes with monocular as well as an interchangeable binocular body, with an adjustment mechanism by rackwork (with a single knob) in the front. It sits on a wooden platform. No case or accessories are included. About 1870. Signed: Baker. 244. High Holborn, London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.078).


   R&J Beck

Nephews of J.J. Lister, Richard Beck (1827-1866) and Joseph Beck (1828-1891) were in partnership with a leading instrument maker, James Smith (d. 1870). The name of the company, Smith, Beck & Beck was changed to R&J Beck in 1865. R&J Beck introduced a number of inexpensive models and helped popularize the use of the microscope.


MicroscopeAn example of the Beck "Economic" microscope, the instrument has a flat, tripod foot and a binocular tube. The tubular pillar is capped with a compass joint, and circular stage is attached to the tubular limb. Focusing is by rack and pinion, and a rotating mirror on a swinging arm is attached to the bottom of the stage. About 1880. Signed: R&J Beck London 13694.


   Robert Bryson

Robert Bryson (1778-1852) and his sons Alexander (1816-1866) and James Mackay (1824-1866) had their business at different locations on Princess Street, Edinburgh (Scotland). The firm sold a variety of scientific instruments from 1810 to 1893.


MicroscopeThis all brass monocular microscope has a bent claw foot, a feature found in James Swift & Son instruments. The stage, attached to the base by trunnions, supports the tubular limb with an arm. The coarse focusing is by the draw-tube, and the fine focusing by the screw on top of the limb. A swinging mirror is attached to the tubular tailpiece. The small instrument was likely intended for use by students. No carrying case and accessories. About1880. Signed: Bryson, Edinburgh.


   John Cuff

At the suggestion of Henry Baker (1698-1774), the author of the popular "The Microscope Made Easy" (1742), John Cuff (1708-1772) designed a new type of microscope providing for an easier access to the stage and a steady mechanism for focusing. The Cuff-type instrument was produced well into the 19th century.


MicroscopeThis unsigned, Cuff-type microscope is attributed to Tiedemann of Stuttgart. The instrument is attached to the box-foot by a beveled rectangular brass base. The curved pillar supports the limb, to which are attached the body-tube and the spring stage. Focusing is by the screw at the top of the limb. Accessories include objective lenses, ivory sliders, and stage forceps. Late 18th century. For other Cuff-type instruments in the collection, see George Adams and Henry Shuttleworth.


   Edmund Culpepper

An English instrument maker, Edmund Culpeper (c.1670-1738) is credited with popularizing two important elements in microscope design: the substage mirror and the tripod microscope, which is referred to as Culpeper-type.


MicroscopeThe unsigned Culpeper-type microscope has two sets of brass tripod that support the stage and the body-tube. The swinging mirror is attached to the wooden base. The instrument also has the rack-and-pinion system on the outer tube, a feature that was later added to Culpeper-type microscopes. No accessories. About 1800.


   Charles W. Dixey

Charles Westell Dixey, Optician to the Queen, took over the firm that operated under the name "G & C Dixey" on New Bond Street from 1839 to 1862.


MicroscopeThis Gould-type microscope, designed by Charles Gould, was a popular field microscope that could easily be packed into its small wooden box. The body-tube has two parts (cylindrical and conical), and the stage moves along the pillar by a rack- and-pinion mechanism. Accessories include ivory slides, objective lenses, and stage forceps. Signed: C.W. Dixey, Optician to the Queen, New Bond Street London.


MicroscopeMoody Medical Library collection also includes a very similar but an unsigned Gould-type microscope (1.080).


   John Dollond

London optician John Dollond (1706-1761) is known as the inventor of the achromatic lens for telescopes. His sons Peter (1731-1820) and John (b. 1733) continued the business and sold a variety of scientific instruments. The firm remained in the hands of the Dollond family until the 1870s.


MicroscopeThis Ellis-Type Aquatic microscope has a tubular pillar attached to the box-foot. The pillar supports the stage, mirror, and an optical system consisting of a single lens. The instrument is also fitted with a screw-barrel microscope. The wooden box, covered with fish skin, contains accessories, including brass and ivory sliders, and Lieberkuhn reflector. This is the oldest instrument in the Collection. About 1765. Signed: Dollond London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Screw-Barrel Microscope (1.004).


   W & S Jones

London instrument makers, William (1763-1831) and Samuel (d. 1859) Jones produced a number of popular models, including the Jone's "Improved" and "Most Improved" compound microscopes. They worked at 135 Holborn from 1792 to 1800, and 30 Holborn from 1800 to 1860.


MicroscopeThis is a solar microscope, with a square base and attached rectangular mirror. It comes with accessories and a wooden case. About 1795. Signed: W&S, Jones Fecerunt. 135 Holborn, London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.009).


MicroscopeAn example of the Jones's "Most Improved Compound Microscope," this instrument has a folding tripod base and a pillar that supports the limb by a compass joint. The limb carries the stage, condenser, mirror and body-tube. The stage moves by rackwork. Early part of the 19th century. Signed: W & S Jones. 30 Holborn, London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.038).


   William Ladd

London optician and instrument maker, Ladd (died c. 1884) was known for his effective use of the chain drive mechanism in the construction of microscopes. He worked at 31 Chancery Lane from 1858-60.


MicroscopeThe tripod base, consisting of a tubular structure, supports the limb, which carries the body-tube, stage, condenser, and mirror. Focusing is by the fusee chain mechanism. It sits on a wooden platform and comes with accessories and a mahogany case. About 1860. Signed: W. Ladd, 31. Chancery Lane, London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.015).


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.015).


   Joseph Long

Very little information about the life of Joseph Long is available. He operated his firm at 20 Little Tower Street in London from 1821 to 1846, and the first remained there under the same name until 1884. Long was a maker of scientific instruments.


MicroscopeThis instrument represents the finest example of its type prior to the development of achromatic microscopes. The main components are folded and packed, with complete accessories, in a mahogany box, lined with maroon velvet. The flat folding tripod base supports a round pillar, which is attached to the limb by a compass joint. The limb carries the body-tube and the stage are attached. The compound outer tube carries an inner tube, and the focusing is by rack and pinion. The instrument is very similar to a microscope made by Philip Carpenter and signed: "Carpenter's Improved, Opake, & Transparent Compound Microscope, 24, Regent Street London," now at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. The Moody Medical Library's instrument is believed to be rare, as the catalogs of The Billings Microscope Collection and the Royal Microscopical Society Collection do not list Joseph Long. About 1830. Signed: Improved Compound Microscope for Opake & Transparent Objects. By J. Long, 20, Little Tower St. London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.082).


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.082).


   Nairne & Blunt

London instrument makers Edward Nairne (1726-1806) and Thomas Blunt (d. 1823) formed a partnership and conducted business at 22 Cornhill from 1774 to 1793. One of the innovations introduced by Edward Nairne was the "Chest Microscope," which provided the instrument with more portability.


MicroscopeThis "chest" microscope, a variation on the Cuff model, has a square section pillar hinged to the base of the box. The body-tube fits into a ring at the top of the pillar and can be lifted for packing. The stage focusing is by means of a long screw on the side. A rotating mirror is attached to the pillar by means of a swinging arm. The whole instrument, with accessories (objective lenses, sliders, fish plate) fits into the mahogany case. About 1780. Signed: Nairne Blunt London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.040).


   Negretti & Zambra

Henry Negretti (d. 1879) and Joseph Warren Zambra (d. 1877) were in partnership and sold a variety of scientific instruments. The company conducted business at different locations in London, beginning in 1850 and continuing to the end of the century.


Microscope This large compound binocular microscope is a variation on the popular Ross model (see our instrument 1.025, Ross 563). The Y-shaped foot supports the vertical double pillars, attached to the boxy limb by means of trunnions. The binocular tube has the adjustment mechanism by rackwork (with dual knobs) in the back. It comes with a mahogany carrying case with glass door, a wooden platform for the instrument, and accessories. About 1870. Signed: Negretti & Zambra London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.040).


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.040).


   Moritz Pillischer

A London instrument maker, Pillischer worked at 398 Oxford Street from 1851 to 1853, and at New Bond Street from 1854 to 1887.


MicroscopeThis early instrument by Pillischer sits on a flat solid base (Y-shaped, with a short stem), supporting flat pillars which curve forward. The arched limb is attached to a platform that holds the stage, and is fitted with a rack-and-pinion mechanism for coarse focusing. The oval platform supports two layers of swinging stage, on which a stage forceps is mounted. Beneath this platform, the arched limb takes the form of a tubular limb, holding the mirror. It comes with a mahogany carrying case, a wooden platform for the instrument, and eyepieces. About 1852. Signed: M. Pillischer 398 Oxford St London 114.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.017).


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.017).


   Powell & Lealand

London optician Hugh Powell (1799-1883) was already producing microscopes when he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Peter H. Lealand. The firm remained a major manufacturer of microscopes throughout the nineteenth century.


Microscope This instrument is one of the earlier achromatic microscopes produced by Powell & Lealand shortly after they formed their partnership in 1841. The instrument is supported by a double pillar and a flat tripod. The body-tube rests on the grooved limb, the coarse adjustment being by a rack-and-pinion system. The body and the limb can be rotated 90 degrees away from the stage. Edward Nelson believed that the most important part of this microscope was the introduction of trunnions that replaced the compass joint of earlier microscopes. Trunnions became common feature in microscopes produced in the second half of the 19th century. We believe this to be a rare instrument. About 1842. Signed: Powell & Lealand Makers. London.


MicroscopeThe instrument, referred to as "Student's Compound Microscope" in Powell & Lealand catalogs, has a cast-iron foot and limb, painted black. It is also called the "iron" microscope. The limb supports the stage and the body-tube. The rack-and-pinion drive is located internally and operated by a brass knob. About 1848. Signed: Powell & Lealand, London.


MicroscopeBased on a new model introduced in 1843, this all brass instrument rests on a tripod, with the limb moving on the trunnions and supporting the body-tube and stage. The model served as the basis of the company's instrument design through the rest of the century. It comes with a mahogany carrying case and accessories. Dated 1847. Signed: Powell & Lealand, 4. Seymour Place, Euston Square, London. 1847.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.037).


   Andrew Pritchard

A London optician and author, Pritchard is known for his jewel microscopes constructed of diamond and sapphire. He collaborated with C.R. Goring and published a number of works in the 1830s that helped popularize the microscope. He worked at 162 Fleet Street from 1838 to 1854.


MicroscopeOne of the first achromatic instruments, the microscope has a heavy flat folding tripod base. The limb is attached to the pillar by a ball-and-socket joint of Ross design, and carries the body-tube, stage, condenser, and mirror. It comes with a mahogany carrying case and accessories which include a Goring engiscope. Dr. John Bunyan believed that this instrument was made by Andrew Ross and Hugh Powell, who had earlier worked for Pritchard. About 1840. Signed: Andrew Pritchard, 162 Fleet Street, London.


   Andrew Ross

One of the best known microscope makers in London, Andrew Ross began business in 1830 and collaborated with J.J. Lister (1786-1869), inventor of a new design for achromatic lenses for the microscope. Both Ross and Lister were the founding members of the Microscopical Society of London (later the Royal Microscopial Society).


MicroscopeThis compound monocular microscope is the earliest Ross instrument in the collection, and may be one of the four known to have survived. The limb, which supports the body-tube and stage, is attached to the pillar by a ball-and-socket joint. The stage carries a tubular column on its under surface, and the pillar sits on a flat tripod base. About 1835. Signed: Ross, London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.024).


MicroscopeThe popular model features the Y-shaped, flat tripod base which became a characteristic of many Ross microscopes. The vertical flat pillars hold the limb by means of trunnions, and a bar attached to the top of the limb supports the optical tube, with a lever for fine focusing. The stage and the mirror are attached to the limb. This instrument is similar to the one described in the Frontispiece of John Quekett's Practical Treatise on the Use of the Microscope (1848). It comes with a wooden carrying case. About 1853. Signed: A. Ross, London 563.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.025).


MicroscopeVery similar to Ross microscope described above, except that it is larger and has a more elaborate stage and condenser fittings. It comes with a carrying case, eye pieces, and one objective lens, with engraving "A. Ross, 1852." About 1853. Signed: A. Ross London 529.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.026).


MicroscopeThe binocular compound microscope has a heavy brass casting that serves as a Y-shaped base and vertical flat pillars. The standard large circular stage is attached to the limb, which is carried on a trunnion. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories (eyepieces, objective cases, bull's eye condenser). About 1875. Signed: Ross, London. 4046.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.027).


MicroscopeThis binocular compound microscope is very similar to the above instrument (Ross 4046), except for its rotating stage. Also referred to as the Ross-Zentmayer microscope, it incorporates a swinging stage, a feature patented by Joseph Zentmayer (1826-1888), a German-born American instrument maker. The stage can be turned on its horizontal axis. It sits on a wooden platform and comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. About 1880. Signed: Ross, London. 5062.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.028).


MicroscopeThe model is similar to an aquarium microscope advertised in the company's 1875 catalog. The flat tripod foot allows the instrument to be placed close to a tank. The square pillar has a rack-and-pinion mechanism by which the horizontal arm moves vertically. The binocular tube is attached to the end of the arm and moves horizontally by another rack-and-pinion mechanism. It has a wooden carrying case. About 1875. Signed: Ross, London 4017.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.029).


MicroscopeThe binocular compound microscope is a variation on the Ross- Zentmayer instrument described above (Ross 5062). It features an A-shaped, tripod foot which supports the double pillars. The limb, attached to the pillars by trunnions, carries the rest of the parts of the microscope, with a rotating stage. It comes with a wooden case and accessories. About 1885. Signed: Ross-5277. London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.030).


MicroscopeThis model was designed by Francis Herbert Wenham (1824-1908) at a time when interest in oblique illumination was high. It was called "Wenham's Universal Inclining and Rotating Microscope." The main components are of standard Ross design but the large segmental limb, which carries the monocular body, the stage, and substage, slides in a fitting attached to the circular rotating base. This was an expensive and complex instrument to build, and as a result very few of them were made. No case or accessories. About 1885. Signed: Ross, 5250 London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.031).


MicroscopeThe latest Ross microscope in the collection displays the square horseshoe base, typical of late-19th-century design found in German microscopes. The square pillars hold the trunnions to which the square stage is attached. The tubular limb, with an angular arm, supports the body-tube which has a triple nosepiece. The swinging substage consists of an Abbe condenser and an iris diaphragm, and a rotating mirror is attached to the tailpiece. About 1895. Signed: Ross London 8635.


   Henry Shuttleworth

London optician Henry Raynes Shuttleworth (fl. 1754-1797) had his business on Ludgate Street. His son, Henry Shuttleworth, continued the business and dies in 1812.


Microscope This Cuff-type instrument has a tubular pillar which supports the body-tube, stage, and the mirror. It is attached to a wooden box fitted with two drawers. The stage and the mirror move by rackwork. Accessories include ivory and brass sliders, objectives, stage forceps, and Lieberkuhn reflector. Late 18th century. Signed: Shuttleworth London.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.008).


   James Swift & Son

The London optician James Swift, who claimed to have worked for Andrew Ross, established his business in the late 1850s. He was in partnership with his son, James Mansell Swift, and the firm, known for its quality instruments, remained in business until the next century. Operated at 43 University Street from about 1872 to 1881.


MicroscopeThis is the firm's "Challenge" microscope, with a dark brass, claw foot. It differs from the Ross model microscopes Swift made earlier. Instead of the vertical pillars that supported the limb, the curved foot holds the limb on trunnions. The Wenham binocular body moves on the rack and pinion and has an ocular adjustment mechanism (with a single knob) on the back. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. About 1880. Signed: Swift & Son 43, University Street. London. W.C.


MicroscopeThe dissecting microscope has a large brass stage with hand rests (covered with leather). It is mounted on a pair of straight legs and a curved foot in the back. The binocular body is attached to the limb by an arm, with the nosepiece extending downward. Also referred to as the Stephenson dissecting microscope (invented by John Ware Stephenson in 1872), the binocular instrument provides an erect image and makes dissection easier. It comes with a carrying case and accessories. About 1890. Signed: Swift & Son 81 Tottenham CTRD London. W.C.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Binocular Body (1.020).


French Firms

   Nachet et Fils

A leading Parisian instrument maker, Camille Sebastien Nachet (1799-1881) established his firm in 1839. He won a Prize Medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851 for the quality of workmanship of his microscopes.


Microscope This small microscope has a solid brass base that supports the short tubal pillar. The limb carries the stage, with a dove tail slide underneath, and a body-tube with cone nose. The instrument dates from about 1860, as Nachet moved from Serpente Street in 1862. It is associated with Institut Pasteur, and is similar to the microscope used by Pasteur in his work on the diseases of silkworms. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. Signed: Nachet et Fils rue Serpente, 16. Paris.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.007).


   Georges Oberhaeuser

Born in Germany, Oberhaeuser moved to Paris in 1818, after having served his apprenticeship in Wurzburg. In 1822, he started his business, and worked with Trecourt and Bouquet from 1830 to 1835. In 1857, his nephew, Edmund Hartnack (1826-1891), joined the firm. Oberhaeuser enjoyed a reputation as a major instrument maker.


MicroscopeThis early instrument, with a horseshoe-shaped base, has a brass body-tube that moves on the rackwork and is attached to the limb by a short arm. The pillar supports the stage and the limb. The instrument is also fitted with an Abbe condenser and an iris diaphragm, features which were added later on. Based on the style and the low serial number, however, we believe that the microscope dates from about 1860. No carrying case or accessories. Signed on the tube: Oberhaeuser, Place Dauphine, Paris. Stamped on the bottom of the base: 2247.


   Constant Verick

An apprentice of Edmund Hartnack, Verick established his own business before 1877 in Paris. He was succeeded by Maurice Stiassnie in 1882.


MicroscopeThis well built microscope of typical continental design has a horseshoe foot and a square pillar that supports the stage and the limb. The square stage has a fitting for a condenser (missing). It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. About 1880. Signed: C. Verick Suc. de Kleinod Rue de la Parcheminerie, 2 Paris.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.076).


German Firms

   Edmund Hartnack

Hartnack joined the firm of his uncle, Georges Oberhaeuser (1798-1868), in Paris in 1857, and assumed full control of the firm in 1860. He moved to Potsdam, Germany, in 1870, and the Parisian branch of the business was eventually taken over by Nachet et Fils. Hartnack is credited with the first use of water-immersion lenses.


MicroscopeSimilar in design to Oberhaeuser instruments with horseshoe foot, the microscope is supported by a round pillar attached to square stage. The body-tube moves by rack and pinion and is connected to the limb by a solid brass arm. The substage Abbe condenser swings on an axis. No carrying case and accessories. About 1875. Signed on the tube: Dr. E. Hartnack Potsdam.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.049).


   Ernst Leitz

Established in 1850, the German firm of Ernst Leitz (1843-1920) in Wetzlar became the leading manufacturer of microscopes by the end of the century. A company catalog published in 1896 claimed that they sold more microscopes in the U.S. than any other manufacturer. By 1900, Ernst Leitz had produced 50,000 instruments.


MicroscopeThe oldest Leitz instrument in the collection is a small microscope, Stand V. The horseshoe base supports a circular pillar, to which the body-tube, square stage and mirror are attached. There is no substage. Focusing is by sliding the inner tube and adjusting the micrometer screw. About 1880. Signed: E. Leitz Wetzlar No 6017.


MicroscopeThis instrument has all the features of a late 19th-century Continental microscope. A short rectangular pillar sits on a horseshoe base and supports the limb and the stage on trunnions. The body-tube has a rackwork for coarse focusing and carries a triple nosepiece. Fine focusing is by the micrometer screw on the top of the limb. The substage, consisting of an Abbe condenser and iris diaphragm (which itself moves horizontally by rackwork), can be raised or lowered by means of rackwork. The double mirror is attached to the end of the substage mechanism. This microscope was purchased by Dr. William Keiller (1861-1931) in Edinburgh, Scotland, prior to his appointment in 1891 as the first Professor of Anatomy at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. It comes with wooden carrying case. About 1890. Signed: E. Leitz Wetzlar no 17327.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.061).


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Signature (1.061).


MicroscopeAnother Leitz microscope similar to the above (1.061) with wooden carrying case, about 1896, and signed: E. Leitz Wetzlar & New York No 28744.


MicroscopeAdditional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.066).


MicroscopeThe horseshoe-shaped foot and the pillar are cast as one piece. The curved limb supports the square stage and the body-tube with a triple nosepiece. Coarse focusing is by rackwork and fine adjustment by micrometer screw. The substage, consisting of an Abbe condenser and iris diaphragm, moves vertically on rackwork. A rotating mirror is attached to the tailpiece. It comes with a wooden carrying case (covered with black buckram). The microscope belonged to Dr. Henry C. Hartman (1881-1963), Professor of Pathology and Dean at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. About 1925. Signed: Ernst Leitz Wetzlar No 238321.


MicroscopeAnother Leitz microscope from the 1920s, with serial 290899.


   Carl Zeiss

Zeiss began his business in Jena (Germany) in 1846 and gained reputation as a manufacturer of microscopes and other optical instruments. Ernst Abbe (1840-1905), a physicist at the University of Jena, joined Zeiss as a tchnical advisor in 1866 and as a partner in 1875. He introduced a number of optical innovations in subsequent years.


MicroscopeThe oldest Zeiss instrument in the collection is a small microscope with a horseshoe base and a round pillar. The body-tube is attached to the pillar by a short arm and focusing is by the screw on top of the pillar. A swinging mirror is attached to the bottom of the stage. The instrument has a mahogany box in which it lies sideways. About 1878. Signed: 3973. C. Zeiss, Jena.


MicroscopeThe instrument sits on a horseshoe base and a slotted rectangular pillar supports the stage and tubular limb. Below the stage are a rotating double mirror, a swinging platform for the iris diaphragm (which moves on the platform by rackwork), and an Abbe condenser. The substage moves vertically by rackwork. It comes with a wooden carrying case. About 1891. Signed C. Zeiss Jena 19146.


MicroscopeThis is the latest Zeiss microscope in the collection and dates from about 1908. It has many features in common with the earlier Zeiss instrument (1.034) below. Additionally, it includes the "jug handle," an elaborate stage mechanism with the Berger micrometer, and a triple nosepiece. The body-tube moves by rackwork. Signed: Carl Zeiss Jena Nr. 46860.


Italian Firms

   F. Koristka

The firm of Koristka was established around 1880 in Milan, Italy, and enjoyed a good reputation. Their catalog published in 1894 offered a variety of accessories relating to microscopical work.


MicroscopeThe horseshoe base and the pillar (cast as one piece) support the curved limb and the square stage. The body-tube moves by rackwork and has a triple nosepiece. The substage has a condenser and an iris diaphragm. It comes with a wooden carrying case and accessories. About 1920. Signed F. Koristka Milano N. 30580.


Site managed by Moody Medical Library