Bausch & Lomb introduced their Investigator microscope in 1880, telling the American Society of Microscopists that they “confidently claim to have reached a higher degree of perfection than is possessed by any one approximating it in price.” Three years later, the firm termed this a “moderate-priced instrument” with “features of a first-class and high-priced stand.” At that time, the instrument and case cost $40; with two objectives and camera lucida it cost $65. In the 1890s, Bausch & Lomb termed this an American Type Microscope, model H. With triple nosepiece, as here, it cost $81.50.
This example is of that sort. It is a compound monocular with coarse and fine focus, inclination joint, triple nosepiece, circular stage, sub-stage dome diaphragm and double-sided mirror attach to a bar that can be angled up and down, and trileg base. The inscription on the stage reads “Bausch & Lomb / Optical Co.” The inscription on the arm reads “PAT. OCT. 3, 1876 / PAT. OCT. 13, 1885.” There are three objectives: one by Bausch & Lomb, and two by Spencer & Smith.
Ref: “Microscopes and Objectives by the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company,” in J. Edwards Smith, How to See with the Microscope (Chicago, 1880), pp. 344-345.
Bausch & Lomb, Price List of Microscopes, Objectives and Accessories (Rochester, 1883), pp. 22-23.
Bausch & Lomb, Microscope, Microtomes, Apparatus for Photo-Micrography, and Bacteriology Laboratory Supplies (Rochester and New York, 1896), pp. 38-39.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1890
Bausch & Lomb
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 33 cm x 18.3 cm x 21.6 cm; 13 in x 7 3/16 in x 8 1/2 in
place made
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
Additional Media

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