Compound microscope

Made:
1701-1723 in England and England and
maker:
John Cuff
and
John Marshall

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Cuff type microscope on the Marshall pattern, English, early 18th century. Side view. Graduated grey background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Group photograph of Early clock-wheel cutting machine, A compound microscope has two or more lenses. This microscope
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Cuff type microscope on the Marshall pattern, signed by Marshall in the drawer, English, early 18th century

A compound microscope has two or more lenses. This microscope has an eyepiece, a field lens and objective lenses. The large ball and socket joint can be used to tilt the microscope and also allows the body to be swivelled round to overhang the foot or base of the microscope. The specimen can be lit by a candle underneath the platform.

John Marshall, who made this microscope, was an optical instrument maker based in London from 1685 to 1723. The microscope would have been difficult to set up without any instructions. Microscopes of this size would have cost around £5 10s (equivalent to £420 today) – three months’ wages for an unskilled labour at this time.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Details

Category:
Microscopy (Wellcome)
Object Number:
A56281
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), gilt, incomplete, lignum vitae (wood), not recorded, oak (wood), pasteboard and vellum
type:
compund microscope
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical instrument
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical instrument
  • microscope

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