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This is a substantial drum microscope with circular stage, sub-stage mirror in the cylindrical base, and extra lenses and dissecting tools in a wooden case. An accompanying note reads: “Prof. John William Draper of the University of the City of New York took his first Micro-Daguerreotypes with this microscope in 1853.” This was probably written by Draper’s son Daniel, many years later. And it is only partially true, as John William Draper had been experimenting with micro-daguerreotypes since 1840. But it does call attention to the results John William Draper was able to achieve with this microscope and his growing skill with photography. In the preface to Human Physiology, his text published at New York in 1856, John William Draper wrote: “With respect to the original engravings, it will be seen that many have been obtained by the aid of microscopic photography, the process having been so far improved by the author as to be rendered very available for these uses.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
around 1850
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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