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Bertrand "Furnace-Style" Microscope

Often referred to as a furnace type microscope, this finely detailed miniature was designed by Bertrand and stands a modest four and one-half inches high. The model featured below was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, which is part of the Billings microscope collection at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC.

The beautiful mahogany box serves dual roles as storage container and as a platform for the delicate microscope. Grooves cut into the lid allow the base of the optical instrument to slide in and fit securely to the top of the box. Manufactured in France, circa 1839, the compound monocular microscope is comprised of only the most basic features. Specimens were placed atop a fixed circular stage positioned beneath the objective. A pivotal mirror is housed in the lower cut-away portion of the stand and is perhaps the reason that this model is also known as a furnace type microscope. Angle of reflection for the illumination was manipulated by turning the milled-head screw that is attached to the 5/8-inch mirror.


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