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This modest compound monocular is an example of Tolles’ Student’s Microscope with rack-and-pinion, trunnion, square stage, Lister limb with sub-stage mirror, wheel of apertures to adjust the light cone coming up through the specimen, curvilinear tri-leg base, and wooden box. The base, uprights and arm are iron, japanned black. The inscription on the tube reads “TOLLES Boston” and the serial number 242 appears on the underside of the stage. There are three objective lenses: one Tolles, one Murray & Heath, and one unmarked.
Robert B. Tolles (1823-1883) apprenticed with Charles A. Spencer, became supervisor of the Boston Optical Works in 1867, and sole proprietor of the firm in 1872.
Ref: Boston Optical Works, Microscopes and Telescopes (Boston, 1883), pp. 3-5.
Deborah J. Warner, “The Microscopes and Telescopes of Robert B. Tolles,” Rittenhouse 9 (1995): 65-83.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1880
Tolles, Robert B.
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
overall: 15 5/8 in x 5 5/8 in x 6 3/4 in; 39.6875 cm x 14.2875 cm x 17.145 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
The New England Hospital for Women and Children Nurse's Alumni Association
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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