Microscope (1 of 2)

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probably made in London

Postcard of Microscope (1 of 2).
© National Museums Scotland

Microscope (1 of 2)

This brass simple microscope (pictured here in its fitted case) was made between 1820 and 1827, probably by Bancks and Son of London.

The microscope has six single lens objectives and three lieberkuhns. It is engraved around the outer stage 'BANCKS & SON, 441 Strand London. Inst. Maker to HIS MAJESTY'.

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: 000-100-104-260-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1979.32
Date: 1820 - 1827
Between 1820 and 1827
Material: Brass. Inscription: BANCKS & SON, 441 Strand London. Inst. Maker to HIS MAJESTY.
Dimensions: 215 mm x 160 mm x 220 mm
What: Microscope, simple
Who: Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
Bancks and Son, 441 Strand, London (Name engraved on microscope)
Ellis (Eponym)
Where: England
Description: Simple Ellis aquatic microscope in brass, with six single lens objectives, three lieberkuhns and case, signed by Bancks and Son of London, 1820 - 1827
  • Adams, George, Essays on the Microscope. 2nd edition, London: 1798, p 124: 'Ellis Simple or Aquatic Microscope' 
  • For Bancks, see Clifton, Gloria, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851. London: 1995, p 16 
  • Nuttall, R. H., Microscopes from the Frank collection, 1800-1860. Jersey Channel Islands: A. Frank, 1979 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
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