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R. & J. Beck Wenham-Style Binocular Microscope

This finely crafted brass compound microscope features adjustable Wenham-style binocular body tubes mounted on a sturdy base. The model illustrated below was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, which was photographed and described by Gerard Turner in his excellent catalog of microscopes from the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy.

The body tubes of this microscope were designed by W. H. Wenham in 1861, and are adjustable by means of a knurled knob that controls a rack and pinion gear set. A triangular base supports the limb, which has an adjustable inclination angle through a series of holes in the limb that fit a tabbed hinge plate. Coarse focus is achieved through a set of knobs that move the inner pillar tube up and down through a rack gear set. The top of the pillar contains a fine focus knob. A circular stage contains a central aperture and has a slide carrier (not illustrated) to assist in translating specimens during viewing. Accessories stored in a mahogany box include another set of oculars, a darkfield condenser, additional objectives, Nicol prisms, and a condenser. According to Turner, this form of the microscope stand was designed specifically to accommodate the Wenham binocular tube and was called The Popular Microscope.


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