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made in Jedburgh, Borders

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass microscope was made in 1834 by James Veitch (1771-1838), a scientific instrument maker and ploughwright based in Jedburgh in the Borders.

The simple microscope is mounted on a shoe attached to a sliding lid of a wooden box. The shoe is stamped 'JAMES VEITCH/ INCHBONNY/1834'.

James Veitch, a superb optical technician, ground jewel lenses for the Edinburgh polymath, Sir David Brewster, when the latter was investigating the improvement of microscope optics in the late 1820s. Veitch had known Brewster since childhood.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-749-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1979.96
Date: 1834
Material: Brass. Inscription: JAMES VEITCH / INCHBONNY / 1834
Dimensions: Box 120 mm x 57 mm x 45 mm
What: Microscope, simple / box
Who: James Veitch, Inchbonny (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Jedburgh
Description: Simple microscope, designed to mount in a shoe on the lid of a fitted box, by James Veitch, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, 1834
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. pp 20,23 
  • Morrison-Low, A.D. & Christie, J.R.R. (eds). Martyr of Science: Sir David Brewster 1871-1868. Edinburgh: NMS, 1984. p 90 
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