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Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass simple pocket microscope was made around 1800, and retailed by W. & S. Jones, scientific instrument makers based in London.

It has three alternative, or combinations lenses and a mirror. The stage is missing. Small enough to fold up into a carrying case (now missing), this instrument was described in W. & S. Jones' pricelist of 1798 as a 'Pocket Botanical and Universal microscope', aimed at reaching as wide a market as possible.

Botanical microscopes such as this came into vogue from the mid 18th century, as all branches of natural history became fashionable, a fashion which lasted well into the 19th century.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-044-398-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1925.8.3
Date: Around 1800
Material: Fish skin case
Dimensions: Case 108 mm x 64 mm x 32 mm
What: Microscope, botanical / case
Subject: 22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: W. and S. Jones, Holborn, London (Instrument maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Botanical microscope with three eyepieces and mirror, stage missing, made by W. and S. Jones, Holborn, London, in a fish skin case
  • Adams, George, Essays on the Microscope. 2nd edition edited by William Jones, London: 1798, p 124 
  • For a similar, complete, example, see Turner, G. L'E., The Great Age of the Microscope: the Collection of the Royal Microscopical Society through 150 years. Bristol & New York, 1989 pp 266-7 
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