Microscope (2 of 2)

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Postcard of Microscope (2 of 2).
© National Museums Scotland

Microscope (2 of 2)

This portable brass microscope (pictured here assembled for use) was made around 1845. It is signed by Powell and Lealand of London, a firm considered to be among the three pre-eminent mid-Victorian London microscope makers. It became known as their 'No. 4' stand.

The achromatic compound microscope has one eyepiece. It has a short, non-standard body tube, and and the form of address gives neither street nor date: both features of Powell & Lealand instruments made before 1847. Despite its small dimensions, it has both a mechanical stage and a long-lever fine-focus.

Powell & Lealand's 'bar-limb' microscope, of which this is an example, was first described in 1843, but the portable version was not described by contemporaries until 1848; yet this example appears to be somewhat earlier. Portable instruments were always popular with amateur microscopists, as they were less cumbersome than full-sized instruments and their accessories when travelling.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-004-739-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1979.58
Date: 1832 - 1847
Around 1845
Material: Brass. Inscription: Powell & Lealand, London
Dimensions: 320 mm H
What: Microscope, achromatic compound
Who: Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
Powell and Lealand, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Portable achromatic compound microscope in brass, with 1 eyepiece and case, signed by Powell and Lealand of London, 1843 - 1847
  • Hugh Powell, 'Description of Powell & Lealand's New Microscope', London Physiological Journal 1 (1843-4), pp 91-94. 
  • J.T. Quekett, A Practical Treatise on the Use of the Microscope, London, 1848, p 79. 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
  • R.H. Nuttall, Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1880-1860 Jersey, 1979, p 41, item 27. 
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