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made in Wetzlar, Germany

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


By the beginning of the 20th century, more people were using the microscope professionally than ever before. Compared with a century previously, when the largest part of the market had been for entertainment and educational use, the microscope had become the indispensable symbol of the medical practitioner. This instrument was made by one of the large Continental manufacturers, Ernst Leitz, whose factory opened in 1869.

This is a compound achromatic monocular microscope in brass, with an enamelled cast iron two-toed foot. It has a triple-turrent nosepiece for changing objective, and a substage condenser.

This instrument was used in the Institute of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, according to a silver plate screwed to the foot. The serial number, 53595, was produced between 1899 and 1902.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-018-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.1980.118
Date: Around 1900
What: Microscope, compound, monocular
Who: Leitz (Maker)
Public Health Department E.U. (Eponym)
Where: Germany
Description: Compound monocular microscope by Leitz
  • Bracegirdle, Brian. Notes on Modern Microscope Manufacturers. London, 1996, pp 42-44. 
  • Grehn, J. Leitz Microscopes for 125 Years. Wetzlar, 1977. 
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