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George Adams Simple Dissecting Microscope

This microscope is an example of a simple dissecting microscope designed by Pieter Lyonnet, but probably built by George Adams Junior in the late 1700s. The model illustrated below is featured in Gerard Turner's excellent book Collecting Microscopes, a volume in Christie's International Collectors Series of books on antiques.

This style microscope was very popular with naturalists of the period and several different varieties were sold by many instrument makers, most notably George Adams and John Dollond. Peter Lyonnet first described an instrument (similar to the one illustrated above) for micro-dissection in the mid 1700s to members of the Dutch Society of Science. The microscope presented above is housed on a wooden box base containing a drawer for storage of specimens and accessories. Attached to the base is a brass pillar and a planar mirror hinged on a gimbal. An oval mahogany table is positioned at the top of the pillar and contains an aperture (hole) through which the specimen is illuminated by the mirror. Offset on the table is a brass boss that secures a sequence of Musschenbroek swivel nuts that hold a brass-mounted lens.


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