Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), noted physician and author, designed this microscope stand for use in the classes he taught at the Harvard Medical School. It was light-weight, rugged, and relatively-inexpensive, and could be passed from one student to another. It was introduced in 1875, proved fairly popular, and remained on the market for about fifteen years.
A comparison of contemporary advertisements and extant examples shows several minor variations. In our example, the wooden base is shaped like an elongated figure-eight, and the microscope stands on an oval riser. The lamp is missing. A brass tag on the base is inscribed “James W. Queen & Co. / Philadelphia New York” and “Holmes.”
Ref: James W. Queen & Co., Priced and Illustrated Catalogue of Optical Instruments (Philadelphia, 1883), p. 112.
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