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Leitz Photomicrographic Apparatus of 1910

This novel marriage of early twentieth century microscope and camera technology represents one of the most advanced configurations of the period. Leitz, a well-respected German optical instrument manufacturer, had a commanding lead in the microscope market prior to the second World War.

The system was designed to operate in both a vertical and horizontal mode that allowed for several illumination scenarios. Illustrated in the vertical mode, the microscope above is similar to the Leitz Monocular microscope describe elsewhere in the museum. A gas lamp is used as an illumination source, which is focused onto the reflector mirror with an adjustable collector lens. In the horizontal mode, the mirror is removed and light from the lamp is sent directly into the substage condenser. A bellows camera is supported by a vertical pillar that can be easily rotated to a horizontal position when the microscope is adjusted in that manner. The apparatus employed a unique remote-control fine focus adjustment that minimized vibration during photomicrography.

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