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made in London

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This microscope was sold by Abraham Abraham in Liverpool between 1830 and 1840. 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 is shown in its box. It is signed on one arm of the tripod base: 'Improved Compound Microscope / BY ABRAHAM OF LIVERPOOL', and is essentially identical to another in the collection signed by Philip Carpenter of Birmingham and London.

Abraham Abraham first appeared in the Liverpool street directories in 1817, and ran a well-known optical business, which opened Glasgow premises in 1838. In 1841, Abraham was in partnership with J.B. Dancer of Manchester, which lasted for four years. Abraham was one of the first provincial opticians to offer achromatic microscopes for sale - though these were fitted with objectives made by the Parisian optician, Camille Nachet.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-159-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  T.1979.45
Date: 1830 - 1840
Between 1830 and 1840
Material: Brass. Inscription: Improved Compound Microscope BY ABRAHAM LIVERPOOL
Dimensions: 430 mm H
What: Microscope, compound
Who: Abraham, Liverpool (Name engraved on microscope)
Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
Where: England
Description: 'Improved Compound Microscope' in brass with 6 single lens objectives, 1 lieberkuhn, accessories and case, signed by Abraham of Liverpool, 1830 - 1840
  • For Abraham, see Clarke, T.N, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson. Brass & Glass: Scientific Instrument Making Workshops in Scotland. Edinburgh, 1989, pp 298-300. 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
  • Nuttall, R.H. Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800-1860. Jersey, 1979, p 32. 
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