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William and Samuel Jones Botanical Microscope

This simple William and Samuel Jones microscope was originally described by George Adams Jr. as the "Common Botanical Microscope" in his publication entitled Essays on the Microscope. The illustration of the instrument presented below, however, was based on a photograph and description of the original in Gerard Turner's compendium of the Royal Society microscope collection: The Great Age of the Microscope.

The empty hole in the round, mahogany base of the instrument indicates the insertion location for a substage concave mirror, which is missing from the Royal Microscopical Society collection version, as are the stage forceps. A large square socket fills another hole in the base and secures a single, brass pillar that is locked into place by a brass pin. At the top of the pillar, a microscope arm features three simple magnifiers that can be used individually or in combination for varying powers of magnification. The circular brass stage of the microscope features a large, round aperture and may be moved up or down the pillar for coarse focus. Sliders with mounted specimens can be secured to the stage with a slide grip on a pair of pins with springs. Similar to a John Cuff design, a clamping collar with a long, vertical screw serves as the instrument's fine focus mechanism.

A domed storage chest that can hold accessories, and the disassembled botanical microscope, is covered in black stingray skin, lined with green velvet, and bears brass fittings. Illustrated above the storage box is a four-aperture wet cell slider for examining objects suspended in liquid media. To the right of the chest is a high-power objective mounted in a Lieberkühn reflector casing that can be screwed into the instrument's arm from below.


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