This is an inverted compound binocular with rack-and-pinion focus that moves the circular stage up and down, triple nosepiece, and chrome rod holding a “Monla” lamp with iris and condenser. The inscription on the tube reads “Leitz / WETZLAR / GERMANY / 545535.” The inscription on the eye tube reads “Leitz / WETZLAR / Germany.” While the form was designed for use in crystallography, this example was used by Leonard Hayflick (b. 1928), an American microbiologist who, with colleagues at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, developed the WI-38 cell strain. Hayflick also developed an oral polio vaccine, and he discovered the “Hayflick Limit” in cell senescence—that is, the number of generations an in vitro cell line can divided before dying off.
Currently not on view
Object Name
inverted microscope
date made
ca 1955
Ernst Leitz
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 19 1/32 in x 7 in x 12 3/16 in; 48.33937 cm x 17.78 cm x 30.95625 cm
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Leonard Hayflick

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.