Microscope (detail)

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made in London

Postcard of Microscope (detail).
© National Museums Scotland

Microscope (detail)

This photograph shows a detail of the retailer's signature on a microscope made in London between 1820 and 1835. The instrument is known as the 'Adams' Universal' design, as it was first described by the 18th century instrument maker George Adams in 1787. Made for the teaching and leisure end of the market, instruments such as this were increasingly used for scientific study, despite their unimproved optics.

The retailer's signature on one arm of the tripod base reads: 'Dollond London'.

Microscopes with uncorrected optics continued to be sold alongside the new achromatic instruments. The luxury end of the market seemed to be as intrigued by mechanical innovation as by optical changes, and it is possible that 'change for change's sake' helped to stimulate sales.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-926-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.1979.42
Date: 1820 - 1835
Between 1820 and 1835
Material: Brass. Inscription: Dollond London
Dimensions: 280 mm x 260 mm x 530 mm
What: Microscope, compound / simple
Who: Adams (Eponym)
Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
Dollond, London (Name engraved on microscope)
Where: England
Description: 'Adams Universal' compound microscope in brass, with 10 single lens objectives, 4 lieberkuhns, 2 eyepieces, spring supra-stage, stage plate to hold various accessories and case, signed by Dollond of L
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
  • Nuttall, R.H. Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800-1860. Jersey, 1979, 31. 
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