This form was introduced around 1740, and was still popular in the nineteenth century. The U.S. Military Academy bought this example between 1834 and 1844. The “Soleil Fils Optien / RUE DE L’ODEON, 35 / À PARIS” inscription on the tube refers to J. B. F. Soleil, a French optician who opened a shop at this address in 1825 and who, for a while, used the term “Fils” to distinguish himself from his father, who also made optical instruments.
This is now incomplete. It has the mirror and window frame, but the microscope has been lost.
Ref: Deborah Warner, “Projection Apparatus for Science in Antebellum America,” Rittenhouse 6 (1992): 87-94.
Currently not on view
Object Name
solar microscope
date made
ca 1840
Soleil, Jean Baptiste Francois
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
U.S. Military Academy
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