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James Swift Portable Compound Microscope

Standing on a brass tripod, this portable microscope is reviewed in Gerard Turner's book The Great Age of the Microscope. This instrument was advertised in James Swift's catalog published in 1870 as Blankley's small pocket microscope, and was priced at a little over 1 without objectives.

The microscope base is composed of a brass cylindrical limb that serves as one leg of a tripod, with the other two legs hinged at the top to allow folding for packing. A split barrel body tube slides in and out of a cylindrical sleeve for coarse focusing, and the eyepiece fits into a single draw tube. A milled wheel at the top of the cylindrical limb serves as a fine focusing mechanism. The small rectangular brass stage with clips is used to secure specimens that are illuminated from beneath by a plano-concave mirror. Accompanying the microscope is a mahogany box lined with mauve velvet.


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