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Spencer Microscope (USA), 1849–59

This is a Spencer Microscope.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Museum of American History as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated 1849–59. Its medium is brass, glass.

Until Charles A. Spencer began making microscopes in Canastota, New York, in 1838, the only high-quality microscopes available in the United States were imported from Europe. Spencer gained fame among American scientists for his fine objective lenses, which provided stronger magnification and sharper resolution than many European models. In 1847, J. W. Bailey, professor of chemistry at the United States Military Academy, remarked, "I look upon the results obtained by Mr. Spencer as a proud triumph for American art." Spencer microscopes quickly became standard instruments, required by most medical schools. This brass monocular microscope, equipped with a mirror to reflect light through the slide, could be used with either a compound or simple lens.

It is credited Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 1990.0183.01.

  • Ophthalmoscope And Case (Germany), 1860
  • ophthalmoscope: velvet, metal, wood, optical glass; case: leather, velvet.
  • Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 314016.
  • 14.2012.6

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 47 x 41.5 x 20 cm (18 1/2 x 16 5/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35457113/ |title=Spencer Microscope (USA), 1849–59 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 March 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>