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Lennie Edinburgh Drum Microscope

This brass drum microscope was fabricated sometime after 1857 and is signed "Lennie Edinburgh," which is likely a reference to the Lennie family of retail sellers on Princes Street in Edinburgh, Scotland, rather than the actual name of the instrument's maker. The illustration presented below is based on photographs and descriptions of the original provided by Gerard Turner in his books Collecting Microscopes and The Great Age of the Microscope.

Drum microscopes reached their peak period of popularity in Great Britain between 1820 and 1850, when they were sold by many provincial dealers. Unlike Benjamin Martin's original eighteenth century design of the drum microscope, the Lennie version features a side-mounted focusing screw. The drum or cylinder of the instrument is crafted with two cut-away sections, one for access to the brass stage and another for the substage illuminating concave mirror. A bone slider that holds specimens is shown mounted in the circular stage. The instrument is also equipped with a mahogany storage box lined with red velvet, though it is not illustrated here. The accessories housed by the mahogany box include five other interchangeable and numbered objectives, a Lieberkühn reflector, three additional bone sliders, a bull's-eye lens mounted on a pin, tweezers, stage forceps, a fish dish, a hand lens, and a glass vial.


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