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Beck's Large Best Microscope

This microscope was made by London instrument and optical designers R. & J. Beck, and termed the Large Best or No. 1 Stand microscope. It is part of the collection of the Royal Microscopical Society in London and is described by Gerard Turner in his book The Great Age of the Microscope.

The microscope cost 125 complete with a cabinet and two boxes of accessories when new in the late nineteenth century. The tripod base supports a pair of turned brass pillars (on a rotatable disc) that support the limb of the microscope on a pivot. The circular stage, condenser, and substage mirror are attached to the lower portion of the limb. The body tube is a Wenham-style binocular with a rack and pinion focus system for coarse adjustment, while fine focus is controlled by a short lever on the nosepiece. The circular mechanical stage can be rotated through about 230 degrees, and the top of the stage has a slide rest with a spring grip. This microscope was considered to be one of the finest in workmanship and design for the time period.


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