The Microscope
   Microscopes are not normally part of the apparatus found in physics departments, but occasionally they are found in collections. Normally I pass them by, but sometimes they are too beautiful to ignore. This one in in the collection of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and is by Beck of London.
   Sometimes the microscopes are very old, such as this one at Middlebury that dates from the early part of the nineteenth century.
   And sometimes they are very humble.

   The little microscope at the left is in the Greenslade collection, and the one on the right is at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. 

   These instruments are unmarked, but closely resemble the Boy's Microscope sold by the Philadelphia firm of James W. Queen for $2.50. The 1890 Queen microscope catalogue noted that they would give a magnification of about 40 diameters.

    The microscope at the right was made by the London firm of Dolland, and was on display at the University of Colorado physics department in 1975 when this picture was taken. In the background is John Dolland, the inventor of the achromatic lens. 

   The caption next to the microscope reads "Dolland microscope London ca. 1890. John Dolland (1706-1761) is creditied with the discovery of a means of constructing achromatic lenses which produce refraction without color by the combination of crown and flint glasses."


   This is one of the oldest pieces in the collection of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. It is by W. & S. Jones of 30 Holborn, London; Hobart was founded in 1822.

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