Moody Medical Library

Academic Resources | Blocker History of Medicine Collections


Microscope Collection

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.


Edmund Hartnack Microscope

Similar 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.


Edmund Hartnack Microscope Detail

Additional 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.


Ernst Leitz Microscope 1

The 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.


Ernst Leitz Microscope 2

This 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.


Ernst Leitz Microscope 2 Case

Additional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.061).


Ernst Leitz Microscope 2 Detail

Additional Photograph: Signature (1.061).


Ernst Leitz Microscope 3

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


Ernst Leitz Microscope 3 Case

Additional Photograph: Case with Instrument (1.066).


Ernst Leitz Microscope 4

The 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.


Ernst Leitz Microscope 5

Another 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.


Carl Zeiss Microscope 1

The 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.


Carl Zeiss Microscope 2

The 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.


Carl Zeiss Microscope 3

This 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.