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This is a low-power brass instrument with lens holder, stage, sub-stage mirror, and cylindrical stand. It fits into and stands on a small leather-covered box. Robert Bancks (or Banks), a mathematical and optical instrument maker in London, designed the form around 1830. This example was collected by Richard Halsted Ward (1837-1917), a noted medical microscopist, or his son, Henry B. Ward, a pioneering parasitologist. The “Bate / London” inscription on the stage refers to Robert Brettell Bate.
Ref: Brian J. Ford, “Charles Darwin and Robert Brown—their microscopes and the microscopic image,” infocus (Sept. 15, 2009): 19-28.
Anita McConnell, R. B. Bate of the Poultry, 1782-1847: The Life and Times of a Scientific Instrument Maker (London, 1993).
Currently not on view
date made
Bate, Robert Brettell
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
associated place
United States: Illinois, Urbana
Physical Description
brass (microscope material)
leather (case material)
velvet (case material)
wood (overall material)
black (overall color)
blue (overall color)
case: 3.3 cm x 12.9 cm x 10.8 cm; 1 5/16 in x 5 1/16 in x 4 1/4 in
microscope: 11 cm x 10.5 cm; 4 5/16 in x 4 1/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Miss Charlotte B. Ward
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History