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probably made in London

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass microscope dates from around 1810. It was probably made in London and obtained through the trade for resale by John Miller and Alexander Adie, scientific instrument makers based in Edinburgh between 1804 and 1822.

The microscope is engraved 'Miller/&/Adie/Edinburgh'. It is a compound instrument on a pillar stand, with a folding three-toed base. The optical system is pre-achromatic.

This sort of microscope, known as a 'Martin Universal' microscope, was popular with amateur botanists. Benjamin Martin (1704-82) was a London-based scientific instrument maker. His 'Universal Compound Microscope' was first described in 1759.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-777-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1980.221
Date: Around 1810
c. 1810
Material: Brass. Inscription: "
Dimensions: 330 mm H
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
Martin (Eponym)
Miller and Adie, Edinburgh (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Modified 'Martin's Universal' type compound microscope in brass on pillar stand and folding 3-toed tripod base, signed by Miller and Adie of Edinburgh, c. 1810
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. p 31, 66 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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