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Baker Microslide Projector

Designed to project magnified images of microscopical specimens, the Baker microslide projector features a small, horizontal, compound microscope mounted with an electric illumination system on a kidney-shaped iron base. The illustration presented below is based on a photograph and description of the original instrument in Gerard Turner's book entitled The Great Age of the Microscope.

Baker was an English illumination and scientific instrument manufacturing firm that began by creating variants of the whale oil lamp in the late 1800s, and then progressed to constructing freestanding microscope lamps and innovations such as the glass rod lamp. Founded by Charles Baker, the company also sold microscopes and prepared microscope slides. The instrument featured here, created around 1947, is signed "C. Baker London" and is numbered "15468."

The microscope portion of the Baker microslide projector consists of a projection eyepiece, a field lens, an objective, a circular stage with round aperture, a substage condenser, and a diascopic light source. Magnification is controlled by sliding the drawtube of the instrument, which is engraved with numbers corresponding to magnifying powers. Mounted on the base of the projector is a 6-volt, 30-watt transformer used to power the device's lamp, and an iron pillar. A nickel-plated rod inside the iron pillar provides additional support and can be locked into position via a knurled knob. A second, identical microscope, which is mounted in an upright position on a ring-shaped iron base, accompanies this microslide projector in the Royal Microscopical Society collection, though it is not illustrated here, and is used to sort prepared microscope slides.

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