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possibly made in London

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass compound microscope dates from around 1800. It is built to a design developed from Edward Culpeper 's (c. 1666-1738) original type of 1725. The microscope is unsigned although it has the trade card of John Bleuler, a London scientific instrument maker who was in business between 1790 and 1829.

The microscope has a wooden pyramidal box (not shown) on a wooden base containing drawer with accessories. These include 10 ivory slides, forceps, stage forceps, five numbered objectives, stage condenser, livebox, lieberkuhn and fish plate.

The Culpeper form of tripod microscope proved extremely popular from about 1725 to the end of the 18th century: all that changed was the materials. It incorporates a substage mirror, and its construction was more rigid than the side-pillar design.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-230-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1966.42
Date: Around 1800
c. 1800
Material: Brass / wood box
Dimensions: 12.502 H / box 18.00" x 8.50" square base
What: Microscope / trade card / box / accessory
Subject: 22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: Bleuler (Possible maker)
John Bleuler, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Three-pillared microscope in brass, unsigned with a trade card for Breuler, flourished 1781 - 1829, and in a pyramidal wooden box with two drawers containing slides and accessories
  • Adams, George, Essays on the Microscope. 2nd edition edited by William Jones, London: 1798, p xxx 
  • For John Bleuler, see Clifton, Gloria, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851. London: 1995, p 32 
  • For the development of this form of microscope, see Turner, G. L'E., The Great Age of the Microscope. Bristol: 1989, pp 30-46 
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