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Microscope, made by G. & S. Merz

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Microscope, made by G. & S. Merz

The Bavarian-born Parisian microscope maker Georges Oberhaeuser reintroduced a version of the 'drum' microscope (so-called because of its shape) in 1835, which he patented in 1837. The pattern shown evolved from this, and, using corrected lenses, it became established amongst Continental microscope makers for the rest of the century as a fairly cheap and simple type of instrument, well within the reach of the student pocket. In Britain in about 1860, such an instrument would cost bout £7-40.

The drum microscope in brass and gunmetal has the body-tube sliding into a brass support held over the stage. The heavy lead-weighted circular base is leather-bottomed. The front of the body-tube is engraved 'G. Mertz und Sohn / in Munchen'. The instrument has a fitted box (not shown).

G. & S. Merz were the successors to the internationally-famous Fraunhofer optical business; in 1871 there were 63 employees, and the business continued until 1903.

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Online ID: 000-180-000-249-C
Image Rights Holder:
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1980.67
Date: Around 1850
Material: Brass, gunmetal, leather bottomed base. Inscription: G. Menz und Sohn in Munchen
Dimensions: 230 mm H x 75 mm D
What: Microscope, drum / box
Who: G. Menz und Sohn, Munich (Maker)
Where: Germany, Munich
Description: Drum microscope in brass and gunmetal engraved with G. Menz und sohn in Munchen, with leather bottomed base and a fitted box
  • For Merz, see A. Brachner, 'German Nineteenth-Century Scientific Instrument Makers', in P.R. de Clercq, Nineteenth-Century Scientific Instruments and Their Makers (Leiden and Amsterdam, 1985), pp117-157. 
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