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Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass simple and compound microscope was made around 1830, and retailed by Robert Brettell Bate (1782-1847), a scientific instrument maker based in London.

It has three single lens objectives. Its accessories include a cork and ivory stage insert, stage forceps, stage condenser, and hand magnifier. It is signed on an arm of the tripod base 'Bate LONDON'.

George Adams noted of this microscope design, known as a small 'Most Improved' instrument, that it was frequently made in smaller dimensions 'for the convenience of people who travel'. Derived from one of Benjamin Martin's designs, this form of microscope continued to be sold well into the later 19th century.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-266-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1979.43
Date: 1820 - 1840
Around 1830
Material: Brass. Inscription: Bate LONDON (microscope) ; R.B. Bate, Mathematical Instrument Maker, Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation, No 21 Poultry London (trade card)
Dimensions: 190 mm x 140 mm x 300 mm
What: Microscope, compound / simple
Who: Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
R.B. Bate, Mathematical Instrument Maker, No 21 Poultry, London (Name engraved on microscope and also printed on)
Where: England
Description: Small 'Most Improved' compound microscope in brass, with 3 single lens objectives, cork and ivory stage insert, stage forceps, stage condenser, hand magnifier and case with trade label, signed by Bate
  • Adams, George, Essays on the Microscope. 2nd edition edited by William Jones, London: 1798, p 103 
  • For Bate, see McConnell, Anita, R.B. Bate of the Poultry, 1782-1847: the life and times of a scientific instrument maker. London: 1993 
  • Nuttall, R. H., Microscopes from the Frank collection, 1800-1860. Jersey Channel Islands: A. Frank, 1979, p 31 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
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