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S. J. Rienks Compound Monocular Microscope

This brass microscope was made in Holland and is signed "S. J. Rienks, Friesland, 1825". 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.

This unusual microscope is constructed according to the design of the Dr. Robert Smith reflecting microscope with a folding telescopic tripod base. Dr. Smith was an English instrument maker and author of System of Optics, published in London in 1738. The upper end of the body tube holds a large concave mirror, and the lower end a small convex mirror. The underside of the smaller mirror is ground to form a concave mirror to act as a Liberkühn reflector. A central stop (supported by a wire) blocks direct light from passing to the eyepiece. A short tube carries the spring-loaded stage, and the microscope is focused by a rack and pinion gearset. The double mirror, constructed of speculum metal, is attached to one of the legs by means of a thumbscrew.


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