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Twentieth Century Bausch & Lomb Microscopes

The Bausch & Lomb Optical Company was originally founded in 1853 by German immigrants John J. Bausch and Henry Lomb. Both men settled in Rochester, New York and began constructing eyeglasses before forming an official partnership and founding the Vulcanite Optical Instrument Company in 1866 to produce frames for glasses and magnifiers from hard rubber. By the late 1800s, Bausch's son Edward had joined the team and the company added microscopes to the growing product lineup. In 1874, Bausch & Lomb produced their first compound microscope, and the following year, the renowned microscope maker Ernst Gundlach joined the business. Gundlach designed a full product line of microscopes and patented a variety of stands and accessories before leaving the company in 1878.

When the twentieth century rolled around, Bausch & Lomb was the leading producer of microscopes in the United States, and the third largest manufacturer in the world (after Leitz and Zeiss). The StereoZoom series of microscopes is perhaps the most famous from the Bausch & Lomb inventory, although the company produced a number of high quality microscopes over a period exceeding 100 years. In the late 1980s, Bausch & Lomb entered into negotiations with Leica to sell the microscope division, which ultimately became incorporated into the Ernst Leitz name.

Bausch & Lomb Simple Binocular Dissecting Microscope - Rochester, New York-based instrument maker Bausch & Lomb introduced this simple dissecting microscope in 1903.

Bausch & Lomb Capillary Microscope - Specifically designed to directly examine circulatory activity and structure of minute capillaries beneath skin, the Bausch & Lomb Capillary Microscope was initially constructed in a collaborative effort with several members of the medical research community.

Bausch & Lomb Monocular Microscope w/Custom Glass Stage - Retrofitted with a circular glass stage, this monocular microscope was capable of handling 20 specimens simultaneously.

Bausch & Lomb Compound Monocular Microscope - Although designed much like a petrographic polarized light microscope, this monocular unit does not have a polarizer or an analyzer.

Bausch & Lomb Compound Binocular Microscope - This nicely crafted dissecting microscope was popular in anatomical studies in the 1920s.

Bausch & Lomb Bacteriological Research Microscope - Microbiologists in the early twentieth century often favored the Bausch & Lomb model CBE binocular microscope, because the instrument was designed and specially equipped to assist in bacteriological research.

Bausch & Lomb KAJ Binocular Stereomicroscope - The adjustable jointed arm of the Bausch & Lomb KAJ binocular stereomicroscope sets it apart from the competition. Providing versatility through an almost unlimited number of positions, the KAJ microscope offers a modicum of comfort via paired eyepieces that may be adjusted to suit the observer. In addition, the Greenough-style microscope forms an erect, apparently three-dimensional image of the specimen.

Bausch & Lomb KA Greenough-Style Binocular Stereomicroscope - The Bausch & Lomb Binocular Microscope K consists of the twin body tubes and eyepieces of the company's KA Greenough-style microscope mounted on a simple horseshoe stand. Each body tube is fitted with an achromatic objective, a Huygenian eyepiece, and a Porro prism. Unlike more modern binocular microscope designs based on beamsplitters, these 1929 Greenough microscopes produce erect, three-dimensional images that are, however, inverted by 180 degrees.

Bausch & Lomb LCH Petrographical Microscope - Bausch & Lomb designers created the laboratory-grade, petrographical microscope, designated the LCH, to fulfill most of the needs of a ceramics engineer or petrographer, but not designed to meet the more rigorous demands of a research scientist during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Bausch & Lomb Fluorescence Microscope - By coupling a laboratory-grade compound microscope with an iron arc lamp and a free-standing filter holder, early twentieth century Bausch & Lomb optical design engineers created a fluorescence microscope that was useful for examining either mineral or organic specimens.

Bausch & Lomb Comparison Monocular Microscope - Based on the ingenious design by Albert S. Osborn, the Bausch & Lomb Comparison microscope enables the comparison of two specimens juxtaposed in a single field, viewed by a single 10x Ramsden eyepiece.

Bausch & Lomb Petrographical Microscope LD - Based on the design of Dr. Fred E. Wright from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., the Bausch & Lomb Petrographical Microscope LD met most of the common requirements for petrography during the 1920s and 1930s. By utilizing polarized light, the LD, described in the 1929 Bausch & Lomb microscope catalog, aided in the measurement of the optical properties of rocks and minerals.

Bausch & Lomb AKW-5 Wide-Field Binocular Stereomicroscope - According to the 1929 Bausch & Lomb microscope catalog, the KW wide-field binocular stereomicroscope is "one of the most valuable all around microscopes ever produced". The AKW-5 model illustrated in this section, redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, features extremely wide fields, long working distances, parfocal objectives, high eye points, stereoscopic vision, and an erect image that is not reversed.

Bausch & Lomb Brinell OM Microscope - A specialized form of the compound microscope, the Bausch & Lomb Brinell OM microscope was designed for measuring the impressions made during the Brinell Ball Test for estimating the hardness of a metal.

Bausch & Lomb Chamot Chemical Microscope M - Solvent and reagent-proof throughout, the Bausch & Lomb Chamot Chemical Microscope M was designed based on specifications developed by Drs. Emil M. Chamot and C.W. Mason of the Laboratory of Chemical Microscopy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Bausch & Lomb Slit Ultramicroscope No. 22 - Based on the pioneering work by Dr. Heinrich Siedentopf in 1900, Bausch & Lomb design engineers devised the Slit Ultramicroscope No. 22 to go beyond the Abbe limit of optical resolution (approximately 0.20 micrometers) by illuminating "ultramicroscopic particles.

Bausch & Lomb StereoZoom Binocular Stereomicroscope - In 1959, Bausch & Lomb introduced an innovative stereomicroscope that was equipped with continuously variable, or zoom, magnification. Inspired by the basic Greenough design, this instrument, which was dubbed the StereoZoom, was the first commercial stereomicroscope devoid of erecting prisms.

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