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James Swift & Son Compound Dissecting Microscope

Designed to produce an upright image for minute dissections, this microscope was built around 1903 by James Swift & Son of 313 High Holborn in London. The microscope is reviewed in Gerard Turner's book The Great Age of the Microscope.

The binocular tubes were invented by John Ware Stephenson, who published the design in his paper On an Erecting Binocular Microscope in the Monthly Microscopical Journal, volume 4, page 61 (1870). A flat brass stage is supported by turned brass legs in the front, and a curved leg in the rear that also holds the limb. Beneath the stage is an iris diaphragm housed in a collar, and a plano-concave mirror resides beneath the diaphragm on the limb. Focus is achieved by a rack and pinion mechanism that moves the binocular body up and down on the limb. Objectives are housed in a rotating nosepiece, which is attached to the body tube in front of the prism. Accompanying the microscope is a mahogany case lined with green baize, and a pair of mahogany arm rests that fit into the side of the stage with a pair of pins.


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