Microscope of the Month
Gould-Style Botanical Microscope, No. 175
Age: c1825
Made by: Unknown
Made in: probably England
Nicol Prism

This is a Gould-style compound microscope with a rectangular support pillar. The support is hinged at the bottom and mounted in center of rectangular wood case. Focus is by a rack & pinion mechanism, moving the stage up and down. The rack is machined into the main support pillar. The illuminating mirror inserts by a pin into the pillar below the stage. The stage consists of two rectangular brass plates. The top plate has two locating pins that fit into matching sleeves attached to the bottom plate. This creates a mechanism for supporting sample slides. On the bottom of the main stage plate are two dovetail mounts. These match the dovetail fitting of a lower polarizer consisting of a Nicol prism mounted in a rotating frame. The necessary top polarizing filter ("analyzer") is missing from this instrument, but the eyepiece is threaded to accommodate one. Mounted to the top of the stage is a combination forceps and black/white disc. The microscope optics consist of a Huygenian eyepiece and objective lens. There are three different magnification objective lenses. The case is mahogany with a hinged and keyed top piece. Inside is a fitted top drawer for accessories. The top of the case is lined with velvet. Imaging is good, especially at high magnification.

An instrument of this style is called a Gould-style microscope. Microscopes of this general design were made well into the 19th Century due to their popularity among the many people with interests in natural history. This type of instrument often varied in design, some larger, some with the pillar mounted on the front edge of the box, some mounted on the top of the box, some signed, and some unsigned. These microscopes have often been called "Cary-style microscopes," while Charles Gould, Cary's apprentice, actually invented this design. The Golub Collection has several Gould-Style microscopes, all of a similar and distinctive design.

Contact: Steven Ruzin, Ph.D. Director of the CNR Biological Imaging Facility
Curator of The Golub Collection
located in
Valley Life Sciences Building, Onderdonk Lobby
The University of California at Berkeley, USA
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