This is a compound monocular with rack-and-pinion for coarse adjustment, micrometer screw for fine adjustment, square stage, inclination joint, sub-stage condenser and iris diaphragm, sub-stage mirror, and tall black iron pillar with circular base. The “C. REICHERT / VIII Bennogasse 26 / WIEN” inscription on the tube refers to an optical firm that was established in Vienna in 1876 by Carl Reichert (b. 1851), a young man who had learned the microscope business from his father-in-law, Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar. The address and lack of serial number suggests that this microscope was made early in the firm’s history.
This example was owned by Alfred McEwen, an American businessman who, in 1921, prepared an exhibit of microengraving for the Smithsonian. This consisted of “The Lord’s Prayer” engraved on a tiny square of glass, so arranged that it could be viewed under a microscope through the eye of a needle. McEwen gave the engraving and the microscope to the Smithsonian in 1925. Following McEwen’s death in 1945, his son gave other items to the Smithsonian, including the micropantograph with which the engraving was done.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
ca 1870
Reichert, Carl
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 24 in x 4 in x 5 1/2 in; 60.96 cm x 10.16 cm x 13.97 cm
place made
Hapsburg Empire: Austria-Hungary, Vienna
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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