Simple Italian Microscope
A reproduction of a simple one-lens Italian microscope made by London instrument designer John Mayall, Jr. demonstrates another design motif of the late seventeenth century. The model featured below was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope replica, which is part of the Billings microscope collection at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC.
The circular base and five-inch pillar of the original microscope were turned from a single piece of dark wood, possibly lignum vitae. Specimens are affixed to the circular wooden disk that is rotated by means peg with screw action. Just above the specimen disk is the single lens eyepiece used to view the specimens. Focus is achieved by turning the lower peg, which winds a cord around the peg and serves to raise or lower the lens holder.
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