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George Adams Variable Microscope

One of the numerous microscopes made by famous British designer George Adams is termed the variable microscope because it had more adjustable features than other microscopes of the period. The microscope has a large pinion gear that functions as a variable rack and pinion system to adjust the position of the microscope body with respect to the stand.

The large gear wheel is controlled by a pinion on the top of the microscope's stand that allows the microscope to pivot at the top of the stand instead of the bottom. Another interesting feature is the interchangeable microscope tube that can be removed and replaced by a simple single lens-element microscope body or objective.

In order to increase the magnifying power of his microscope, Adams used a technique he called compounding, in which two objective lenses were added together so the product of both will yield more magnifying power. To do this he mounted each objective lens into a button, or brass cell that could be attached to another cell to form the magnifying unit within the microscope body. Adams' compound microscope was a great innovation of the period, but the lenses suffered from both spherical and chromatic aberration which was increased by compounding the lenses.


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