This is a compound monocular with cardboard tubes, the outer one covered with sharkskin. The base and fittings are wood. The three S-shaped legs are brass, as is the circular stage and the sub-stage mirror on a swivel mount. The basic instrument was designed in the 1720s by the English optician, Edmund Culpeper. Some features of this example—notably the shape of the legs—suggest the work of Matthew Loft.
Ref: Reginald Clay and Thomas Court, The History of the Microscope (London, 1932), pp. 118-122.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
mid 18th century
overall: 16 5/8 in x 6 3/4 in x 7 in; 42.2275 cm x 17.145 cm x 17.78 cm
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
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