This compound monocular is a Spencer Model 18 with coarse and fine focus, triple nosepiece, large square stage, inclination joint, sub-stage diaphragm, sub-stage mirror, and horseshoe base. The microscope is brass; the arm and base are black. The inscription on the base reads “Spencer Microscope / ALOE CO. Sales Agents / No. 91092.” The serial number indicates a date of 1925.
Spencer introduced the Model 18 in 1917, describing it as “a very high-grade instrument” that was “specially recommended for research work and for those with wish the very best equipment, but with a plain, rectangular stage.” In 1924, the firm noted that “its exceptional symmetry of design and beauty of finish adapt it especially for the physician’s office where dignified appearance as well as utility are matters of prime importance.”
This belonged to Elmer Patton Bostwick (1893-1958), a bacteriologist who spent many years working to ensure the consistency and quality of processed foods.
Ref: Spencer Lens Co., Catalogue of Spencer Products (Buffalo, N.Y., 1917), p. 22.
Spencer Lens Co., Catalogue of Spencer Products (Buffalo, N.Y., 1924), p. 22.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Spencer Lens Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 33.1 cm x 11 cm x 15.3 cm; 13 1/16 in x 4 5/16 in x 6 in
place made
United States: New York, Buffalo
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Mrs. Elmer F. Bostwick, in memory of her husband Elmer Patton Bostwick
Additional Media

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