Microscope, sold by Philip Carpenter

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in London

Postcard of Microscope, sold by Philip Carpenter.
© National Museums Scotland

Microscope, sold by Philip Carpenter

This microscope was sold by Philip Carpenter in London between 1827 and 1837. It was probably made in London by one of the many small workshops in the Clerkenwell area. The design of the microscope was described in an anonymous pamphlet published in about 1830 as the 'Improved Compound Microscope for Opake & Transparent Objects'.

This microscope has uncorrected lenses, but the mechanical construction was novel: later examples had improved stability with the addition of telescope-style steadying rods connecting the body-tube to the tripod base.

Philip Carpenter moved from Birmingham to London in about 1827, where he opened retail premises in Regent Street. At this address he ran an exhibition named the 'Microcosm', which was about the wonders of what could be seen through the instrument. Visitors to it were encouraged to buy a variety of optical apparatus, including microscopes of this type.

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Online ID: 000-180-000-158-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  
Date: Between 1827 and 1837
  • For Carpenter, see Nuttall, R.H. Philip Carpenter and the 'Microcosm' exhibition: with a note on Carpenter and Westley's microscopes. Microscopy 33 (1976), pp 62-65. 
  • Nuttall, R.H. Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800-1860. Jersey, 1979, p 32. 
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