Microscope of the Month
Nachet and Son Compound Microscope; No. 68
Age: c1856
Made by: Nachet and Son
Made in: Paris
Nachet et Fils
rue Serpente 16, Paris
Imaging

This instrument is a brass compound monocular microscope mounted on a solid metal base. The main support pillar is attached to the back of the base and projects up a few cm to a compass joint. The stage and focus support pillar is attached above the joint, allowing the microscope and stage to be tilted. Focus is via a spring-loaded screw-thread mechanism that lifts or lowers a brass sleeve. Attached to the top of the sleeve is the microscope support limb. Nachet engraved the company logo (Nachet et Fils) on the side of the limb. A knurled focus knob is positioned at the top of the pillar. The microscope body press-fits into a slotted brass sleeve, which is screwed into the limb. The body tube and single objective projects through the bottom of the sleeve There is only one objective with this specimen. The eyepiece consists of two plano-convex lenses. It is screwed into the distal end of the drawtube. There is no field lens in this 19th Century instrument. Positioned at the front of the limb is a dovetail mount that is used for the attachment of a bull's eye lens. A sliding aperture block is mounted beneath the stage via a dovetail attachment. The block has two aperture sizes. The illuminating mirror is press-fit into a descending brass tube, which is screwed into the surface of the stage. The mirror has one convex reflecting surface. Imaging is only fair, probably due to poor specimen lighting. The microscope can be stored in a mahogany case.

Camille Sebastien Nachet started work as an optician in 1839 or 1840. His son, Jean Alfred joined the firm sometime between 1849 and 1854. Alfred and grandson Albert Nachet subsequently purchased the Oberhaeuser instrument company in 1896. Alfred and Albert were both in charge of Nachet company at the time, but it was only Alfred who signed the deed of sale.

Alfred Nachet owned one of the greatest collections of antique microscopes the world has ever seen: The Nachet Collection of Paris. That collection went up for sale in the 1960s, and a few of the microscopes were purchased by Orville Golub. Those instruments from the original Nachet Collection were subsequently donated to the University of California, Berkeley, where they now form an important historical component of the Golub Collection at UCB.

I would like to thank Ms. Riley Maxon for help in photographing and preparing this MOM.

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