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probably made in London

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This microscope was designed and probably made by John Cuff (1708-72), a scientific instrument maker and designer based in Fleet Street in London. It dates from around 1745.

The fixed pillar is marked 1 to 6 to assist coarse focussing, while the lower part of the microscope is marked 6 to 2 to assist focussing the lieberkuhn. The stage is signed 'J CUFF Londini Invt & Fecit'.

Cuff's patron was Henry Bates FRS (1698-1774), who promoted Cuff's microscopes in his book, The Microscope Made Easy (1742). This design, made for Baker's subsequent study of crystals, was produced from 1744 onwards.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-180-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1901.706
Date: Around 1745
c. 1745
What: Mechanics / physics / botany / physiology / specimen / microscopy
Subject: 22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: J. Cuff, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: "Cuff" microscope, part of a collection of models and specimens illustrating mechanics, the different branches of physics, botany and physiology, c. 1745
  • For Cuff and Baker, see Turner, G. L'E., 'Henry Baker FRS, founder of the Bakerian Lecture', in Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 29 (1974), pp 53-79 
  • For other similar Cuff microscopes, see Turner, G. L'E., The Great Age of the Microscope: the Collection of the Royal Microscopical Society through 150 years. Bristol & New York, 1989 pp 47-54 
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