Bausch & Lomb introduced their Physician’s microscope in 1877, boasting that it was “firm and well balanced” and well adapted “to the use of physicians and students.” The stand and case cost $40; with two objectives and camera lucida it cost $65. Ernst Gundlach, the Prussian immigrant who had become superintendent of the firm’s new microscope department in 1876, was largely responsible for the form.
This example is a compound monocular with coarse and fine focus, double nosepiece, rectangular stage, inclination joint, sub-stage aperture ring with three different diaphragms, sub-stage mirror, curvaceous base, and wooden box with extra lenses. The body and tube are nickel-plated brass; the base is black iron; the stage is heavy glass. The inscription on the tube reads “BAUSCH & LOMB OPTICAL CO. ROCHESTER, N.Y.” That on the arm reads “PAT. OCT. 3. 1876.” That on the metal slide holder reads “PAT. DEC. 25, 77.”
This was used by Robert Selden (1847-1921), a physician in Catskill, New York. The 1594 serial number on the card in the box suggests that it dates from around 1881.
Ref: Bausch & Lomb, Price List of Microscopes (Rochester, 1877), p. 6.
Ernst Gundlach, “Microscopes,” U.S. Patent 182,919 (Oct. 3, 1876).
Ernst Gundlach, “Moveable Slide Holder,” U.S. Patent 198,607 (Dec. 25, 1877).
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1881
Bausch & Lomb
place made
United States: New York, Rochester
case: 12 in x 7 1/4 in x 6 9/16 in; 30.48 cm x 18.415 cm x 16.66875 cm
microscope: 10 7/8 in x 5 3/4 in x 6 in; 27.6225 cm x 14.605 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Mrs. Katharine Selden Kniskern Mather
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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