Solar Microscope

Solar Microscope

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Solar microscopes of this sort were introduced around 1740 and were still popular in the nineteenth century. Wesleyan University may have acquired this example soon after its founding in 1831. The “Benj. Pike & Son, New York” inscription indicates the firm that sold it, but not necessarily the firm that made it.
Ref: Benjamin Pike, Jr., Pike’s Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruments (New York, 1856), vol. 2, pp. 239-244.
Deborah Warner, “Projection Apparatus for Science in Antebellum America,” Rittenhouse 6 (1992): 87-94.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Solar Microscope
solar microscope
date made
Benjamin Pike & Son
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
part: 7 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in; 19.685 cm x 8.89 cm
part: 5 in x 2 1/4 in; 12.7 cm x 5.715 cm
overall in box: 5 in x 15 in x 8 15/16 in; 12.7 cm x 38.1 cm x 22.70125 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Wesleyan University
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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