Museum Microscope

During an exhibition in Nov 2000, Bill Davies showed his most elegant version of a nineteenth century 'Library' or 'Museum' microscope which he had recently designed and expertly constructed. The beauty and precision of its all-brass construction revealed Bill's multi-faceted talents in the mechanical and microscopical arts as well as his imaginative and original design approach. In addition, Bill had made a bound, beautifully printed, 'old style' instruction manual and menu of the many microscopic specimens contained in the Hertel disks.

These instruments were originally designed to simplify the observation of prepared microscopic samples by groups of students, or visitors to museums. Bill's instrument consists of a single microscope tube mounted vertically above a horizontal brass turntable type stage, or "cassette", which holds nine prepared slides in glazed circular apertures near its perimeter. When using lower power objectives, the images remain in focus at each successive, selected specimen position, so the microscope is easy to operate by the lay observer. The brass cassettes, or "Hertel disks" may quickly be changed to provide a range of specimens relating to specific applications or fields of interest. The microscope shown, has a built-in oil or candle-wax illuminator of surprising brilliance.

Different versions of these "Library " microscopes appeared during the 1800 s. One of the best known, now residing in the British Science Museum, was designed and made by Thomas Winter of London, around 1835. Winter's version uses a horizontal rotating drum which carries 40 prepared slides.




Museum Microscope



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