George Wale, an English immigrant then living in New Jersey, showed his “New Working Microscope” at the American Institute Exhibition of 1879 and took home a Medal of Excellence, the judges reporting that “it is one of the most perfect, if not the most perfect moderate sized instrument produced, for the low price at which it sells, by any optician to this day.” Its key feature was a method of hanging the body so that it could be made to incline at any angle without diminishing its stability.
The “New Student Microscope” that Bausch & Lomb introduced in 1886 was said to be “constructed on the Wale principle of concentric inclination of the arm, by which the instrument becomes more firm the further it is inclined.” This example is of that sort. It is a compound monocular with coarse and fine focus, trunnion, circular stage, support for sub-stage mirror, and U-shaped base. The stage is inscribed “Bausch & Lomb / Optical Co.” The objective is missing.
Ref: American Institute Judges quoted in American Journal of Microscopy 5 (1880): 24.
“New Student Microscope,” The Microscope 6 (1886): 199.
“Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.’s New Student Microscope,” Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society 6 (Dec. 1886): 1037-1038.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
late 1880s
Bausch & Lomb Optical Company
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
black (overall color)
overall: 29 cm x 10.4 cm x 16.4 cm; 11 13/32 in x 4 3/32 in x 6 15/32 in
place made
United States: New York, Rochester
associated place
United States: New York, Rochester
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bausch & Lomb Optical Company

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