Spencer Microscope (USA), 1849–59
This is a Spencer Microscope.
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.
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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.