Richard Halsted Ward (1837-1917), a medical microscopist and professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, showed an example of “Blankley’s neat and convenient tank microscope, made by Swift of London” at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Troy, N.Y., in August 1870. Frederick Blankley, an active member of the Royal Microscopical Society in London, had introduced the form earlier that year. The Swift in question was the well-known optician, James Swift.
This example, a compound monocular mounted on a brass pole, resembles the instrument designed by Blankley, but carries no indication that it was made by Swift.
Ref: “A Revolving Stage and a Tank 3 (1870): 209-210.
“Report on the Microscopes and Microscopical Apparatus Exhibited at the Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Troy, N.Y., August 1870,” Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 19 (1870): 381-384, on 384.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1870
Swift, James
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 30.2 cm x 10.2 cm; 11 7/8 in x 4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Miss Charlotte B. Ward
Additional Media

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