Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Photomicrography
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Fluorescence
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Powell and Lealand Iron Stand Microscope

Originally described as the Last Powell Iron Stand by Edward Milles Nelson, a famous British microscopist and former President of the Royal Microscopical Society, the Powell and Lealand monocular, compound microscope was commissioned in 1911 for Augustus Alfred Cornwallis Eliot Merlin.

Merlin, who was an enthusiastic microscopist, Society Fellow, and the British Consulate to Volo, Greece, bequeathed the optical instrument to the Royal Microscopical Society for its collection. The model illustrated above was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, which was described by Gerard Turner in his book The Great Age of the Microscope.

Rather than one of the skilled craftsmen employed in his firm, another instrument maker, Thomas Powell, built Merlin's monocular microscope. Powell, who was Hugh Powell's son and successor, oversaw the making of the classic Powell and Lealand microscopes until the end of his relatively long life in 1925. An unusual feature of the brass and iron compound microscope is a stage design with the front cut away. Nelson favored the stage modification on his microscopes so that he could tilt a glass slide easily with one finger towards an objective and estimate its working distance. With his innovation, Nelson claimed in his note Powell's Iron Microscope, (published in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society in 1899) that he could quickly focus even a 1/12-inch oil immersion objective with the coarse focus alone.

Notably, the stand, which was painted a very dark green with flecks of gold, was the last of the Powell iron stands ever produced. The microscope was fitted with a Huygenian eyepiece and a signed, one-inch objective. Below the modified stage, a collar for holding a condenser is inscribed: "Nelson's Low Power Condenser. C. Baker 244, High Holborn. London.". The body tube moves by rack mechanism inside a cylinder, which is attached to the limb, and the plano-concave mirror is on a sliding tube. The microscope is signed "Powell and Lealand London 1911."

BACK TO TWENTIETH CENTURY MICROSCOPES

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since January 7, 2003: 15237
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: