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This is a compound binocular with inter-ocular adjustment, coarse and fine focus, trunnion, circular stage, sub-stage condenser and diaphragm, Lister limb with sub-stage mirror, and Y-shaped base. Accessories include a bullseye condenser with stand, glass stage, forceps, slides, objectives signed Tolles, R. & J. Beck, and W. Wales, and a wooden case. The “BAKER / 244 High Holborn / London” inscription refers to Charles Baker, a prolific instrument maker who began in business in 1851.
Francis Herbert Wenham (b. 1824), an English engineer and active microscopist, designed a four-sided prism suitable for binocular microscopes around 1860. Several London opticians were offering instruments of this sort by 1861, and some showed examples at the London Exhibition of 1862. Baker began advertising binocular microscopes in 1867; the Royal Microscopical Society bought an example the following year.
Ref: “Wenham’s Binocular Microscope,” The London Review (May 4, 1861): 525-526.
G. L’E. Turner, The Great Age of the Microscope (Bristol, 1989), pp. 100-101.
Currently not on view
date made
Baker, Charles
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
glass (overall material)
case: 18 in x 8 5/8 in x 6 5/8 in; 45.72 cm x 21.9075 cm x 16.8275 cm
microscope: 16 in x 6 in x 7 3/4 in; 40.64 cm x 15.24 cm x 19.685 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Benjamin S. and Josephine T. Bell
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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