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The "Monkey" Microscope

This unusual microscope, which stands only four and a half inches high, was made in Paris and signed by M. Moreau in 1850. The actual microscope currently resides in the Billings Microscope Collection at the Medical Museum of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington DC.

Billings curators have termed this microscope The Monkey Microscope because of the intricately fashioned image of a monkey that holds the microscope together. The monkey is seated on a rectangular block with his left leg crossed, and he is holding the stage in his lap. Attached to the underside of the stage is a single mirror with double milled-head pivots held in place by two curved supports. The microscope body tube is attached with a bolt to the monkey's head and measures a little over 1 and a half inches. Inside the body tube is a single field lens, with an objective attached to the nosepiece and a simple eyepiece that screws into the body tube. A flat metal base supports the microscope.


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