Several London opticians began making small, simple and remarkably similar compound monoculars around 1870, and stressing their suitability for clinical and seaside use. The form featured a tripod base, one leg of which supported the microscope, stage, and sub-stage mirror. James Powell Swift termed his version “Blankley’s Small Pocket Microscope,” the reference being to the English microscopist, Frederick Blankley. This example belonged to Richard Halsted Ward (1837-1917), an American medical microscopist. It has a fine focus screw, a red leather case, and a “Swift” inscription. The objective is missing.

Ref: “Swift’s Improved Pocket Medical and Seaside Microscope,” The Lancet 1 (1872): 764.

James Swift, Manufacturer of Microscopes, Portable & Equatorial Telescopes, and Other Optical Instruments (London, n.d.), p. 15.

James Swift, The Microscope and Accessory Apparatus (London, 1883), front cover and p. 81.

Date Made: 1870-1890

Maker: Swift, James

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom: England, London

Subject: Science & Scientific Instruments


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Microscopes, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Miss Charlotte B. Ward

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.M-09723Accession Number: 174919Catalog Number: M-09723174919.08

Object Name: microscope

Physical Description: brass (overall material)glass (overall material)Measurements: case: 1 5/8 in x 6 3/16 in x 3 15/16 in; 4.1275 cm x 15.71625 cm x 10.00125 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-319a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1172362

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