This medium-sized compound monocular is a Zeiss model IIa with coarse and fine focus, triple nosepiece (with three Leitz objectives), large circular stage made of vulcanite, trunnion, Abbe condenser with iris diaphragm that can swing into or out of the line of sight, sub-stage mirror, and horse-shoe base. The inscription on the tube reads, in cursive, “Carl Zeiss / Jena / No. 12778.”

Victor Vaughan (1851-1929) was a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School who lobbied for a local Hygienic Laboratory. In the summer of 1888, after having convinced the Michigan Legislature to provide funds to build and equip such a facility, Vaughan and his assistant, Frederick Novy (1864-1957), went abroad to study with Louis Pasteur in Paris and Robert Koch in Berlin—and apparently bought this microscope at that time. Returning home, Novy offered the first bacteriology course in the United States, and is now remembered as an important American pioneer of the science.

Ref: Carl Zeiss, Microscopes and Microscopical Accessories (Jena, 1889), pp. 34-35.

Powel H. Kazanjian, “The Beginnings of Bacteriology in American Medicine: Works of Frederick Novy 1888-1933,” PhD, University of Michigan, 2012.

Date Made: 1888

Maker: Zeiss, Carl

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany: Thuringia, Jena

Subject: Science & Scientific Instruments

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of University of Michigan Medical School. Department of Microbiology

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.253100.35Catalog Number: 253100.35Accession Number: 253100

Object Name: microscope

Physical Description: glass (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 13 1/8 in x 4 3/16 in x 6 in; 33.3375 cm x 10.63625 cm x 15.24 cmoverall: 5 1/4 in; 13.335 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-5b4e-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_730529

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