This has a collimator with slit, viewing telescope, and brass stand with iron trileg base. One quarter of the horizontal circle is graduated to 20’ and read by Vernier. The original prism has been lost. The “John Browning 63 Strand, London” inscription on the circle refers to John Browning (ca. 1831-1925), the first important English spectroscope maker. Browning moved to that address in 1872, sold his firm in 1900, and termed this a Student’s Spectroscope.
The “J.W. Queen & Co. PHILADELPHIA” inscription on a tag refers to an American firm that was selling Browning instruments by 1874.
This came to the Smithsonian from Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, but whether it was originally owned by the Baldwin Institute or the German Wallace College is not yet known.
Ref: John Browning, How to Work with the Spectroscope (London, 1878), p. 14.
James W. Queen & Co., Illustrated Catalogue of Instruments Used in Physical Optics (Philadelphia, 1888), p. 57.
Currently on loan
Object Name
date made
ca 1870-1890
Browning, John
overall: 30 cm x 50 cm x 45 cm; 11 13/16 in x 19 11/16 in x 17 11/16 in
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Scientific Instruments
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Baldwin-Wallace College
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