Spectroscope

Description
This is an example of the Model Spectroscope that John Browning (ca. 1831-1925), the first important English spectroscope maker, introduced in 1865 and was still offering at the end of the century. It has two dense glass prisms, a collimator, and a viewing telescope with two eyepieces. A small reflecting prism next to the slit allows two spectra to be seen at the same time. One quarter of the horizontal circle is graduated to 20’ and read by Vernier and magnifier. The inscription on the circle reads “John Browning, London.” The instrument fits into a polished mahogany case.
John Putnam Marble (1897-1955) was an analytical chemist who worked on the determination of geologic time under the auspices of the National Research Council, served as a volunteer Associate in Mineralogy with the Smithsonian Institution, and was remembered as “an amateur, one who cultivates his science from taste, without pursuing it for gain.” Marble owned this instrument, but was probably not the first to do so.
Ref: John Browning, How to Work with the Spectroscope (London, 1874), p. 5.
W. F. Foshag, “Memorial of John Putnam Marble” published by the Mineralogical Society of America.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
spectroscope
date made
1865-1890
maker
Browning, John
Measurements
telescope: 9 3/4 in x 14 in; 24.765 cm x 35.56 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
PH*316651
catalog number
316651
accession number
206607
subject
Science & Scientific Instruments
Optics
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Optics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Estate of John Putnam Marble
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.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.