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
Object Name
date made
Bate, Robert Brettell
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
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
associated place
United States: Illinois, Urbana
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Scientific Instruments
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Miss Charlotte B. Ward
Additional Media

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