Field & Son Compound Microscope (No. 207 )

Age: c1860
Made by: possibly Robert Field & Son
Made in: England
Horizontal position
This microscope is an English Society of Arts Prize pattern microscope. Since compound microscopes at the time were prohibitively expensive for all but the most affluent, the Society of Arts offered a prize for an inexpensive, yet adequately equipped microscope for student use. The prize was awarded to the firm of Robert Field & Son of Birmingham in 1854. The design was successful and was imitated by other manufacturers throughout much of the rest of the Century. There was an additional prize for a simple microscope, also awarded to Field & Son for a portable box-mounted design*.

The microscope consists of a claw-foot base supporting a round support pillar with integrated coarse focus. At the center of the pillar is a compass joint that allows the microscope to be tilted, but not fully horizontal. The rectangular stage is mounted to the center of the pillar. It has two holes for stage accessories. Mounted to the descending arm of the pillar is the single-sided mirror. The microscope body is mounted by screw threads to a limb that cantilevers out over the stage. A short lever fine focus is integrated into the microscope body tube. A thumb wheel actuates the focus. The objectives are ganged simple lenses. A field lens is pressed into the tube. The eyepiece consists of a single optic.

Mounted to the stage are the only remaining accessories: a bull's eye lens and a stage forceps.

*Thanks to Stuart L. Warter for this valuable information. Thanks also to J. Maa for intreped photography.

Microscope featured 02/2017

Tue, Jan 31, 2017