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Charles Baker Student Microscope

Produced by English instrument designer Charles Baker in 1860, this microscope is part of the collection of the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy. Gerard Turner has described the construction and history of this microscope in fine detail.

The microscope is built on a mahogany baseboard that supports a Y-shaped foot to which the microscope limb is attached. A monocular body tube is secured to the limb by means of a rack mechanism, which also is used to focus the microscope. Beneath the square stage is a concave substage mirror and several interchangeable condensers. Accessories surrounding the microscope include an auxiliary objective, a Nicol prism polarizer designed to be inserted beneath the stage, and a Nicol analyzer that is threaded into the back of the objective. This microscope was advertised in the 1861 edition of the Charles Baker catalog as "No. 3 Student's Microscope", which sold for a little over 5.


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