This is a “best student’s microscope” made by Julius and William Grunow, brothers from Prussia who arrived in New York in 1849, and lived in New Haven from 1854 to 1860. It is a compound monocular with coarse and fine focus, square stage, trunnion, sub-stage apparatus, sub-stage mirror, tri-leg base of japanned cast iron, and wooden box with extra lenses. The inscription reads “J. & W. Grunow New Haven, CT 207.” New it cost $75.
One notable feature is a lever arm that moves the stage smoothly from right to left, and forward and back. This arm, coming up from the stage, is of the form introduced by Alfred White in London in 1844; in the form introduced by Cornelius Varley, also of London and also in 1844, the lever hung below.
Ref: J. & W. Grunow, Catalogue of Achromatic Microscopes, &c. (New Haven, 1854), p. 4.
Alfred White, “On a Lever Movement to the Stage of the Microscope,” Transactions of the Microscopical Society of London 1 (1844): 165-166.
D. J. Warner, “Julius & William Grunow,” Rittenhouse 3 (1989): 41-48.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
J & W Grunow
Physical Description
brass (microscope material)
iron (microscope material)
glass (microscope material)
black (microscope color)
wood (case material)
metal (case material)
case: 50.6 cm x 21.3 cm x 23.3 cm; 19 15/16 in x 8 3/8 in x 9 3/16 in
microscope: 38.9 cm x 15.2 cm x 17.6 cm; 15 5/16 in x 6 in x 6 15/16 in
place made
United States: Connecticut, New Haven
associated place
United States: Maryland, Silver Spring
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
Mrs. Russell Munroe
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.