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made in London

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass monocular achromatic compound microscope was made by Powell & Lealand in London in 1847. It comes in a fitted case (not shown) with two objectives and one eyepiece. Accessories include a rack-focussing, plug-fitting, substage achromatic condenser, a low power condenser, darkwells, two liveboxes, compressoriums, stage forceps and eyepiece lucida.

Hugh Powell (1799-1883) appears to have worked as a supplier for the instrument trade before he set up on his own and began, in 1840, to sign his microscopes 'Hugh Powell'. In 1842 he took his brother-in-law, Peter Lealand, into partnership, and thereafter instruments were signed 'Powell & Lealand'. They first produced their bar-limb instrument on a kettledrum tripod base in 1843, and it remained their basic design until the turn of the century.

Powell & Lealand probably moved in 1847 from Clarendon Street to the address shown on a trade card contained in the accessories box: 4 Seymour Place, Euston Square, New Road, Opposite St Pancras Church. Powell first worked for his father-in-law, Peter Lealand, in a workshop on the edge of a slum area subsequently cleared by the advent of the railways; in 1841 it was so congested that the census officer was unable to obtain returns.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-948-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.1979.59
Date: 1847
Material: Brass. Inscription: Powell & Lealand Makers London 1847
Dimensions: 400 mm H
What: Microscope, achromatic compound
Who: Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
Powell and Lealand, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Achromatic compound microscope in brass, with 2 objectives, 1 eyepiece and case, signed by Powell and Lealand of London, 1847
  • For Powell: see Turner, G. L'E. Hugh Powell, James Smith and Andrew Ross: Makers of Microscopes. In: J. North (ed.), Mid-Nineteenth Century Scientists. Oxford, 1969, pp 104-138. 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
  • Nuttall, R.H. Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800-1860. Jersey, 1979, p 41. 
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