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c. 1887




New Pocket Microscope by John Browning

Browning Portable Microscope Browning Portable Microscope in case Browning Portable Microscope outside of case
Browning Portable   Microscope Browning  Microscope
Browning  Microscope Browning  Microscope


John Browning This fine microscope is supported on a folding tripod design with one leg serving as the limb. Coarse focus is by sliding the optical tube, and there is a fine focus through the foot, controlled from the top by fine screw and acting on the stage. The mirror can slide up and down the foot, and is gimballed. There is a draw tube. It has a lieberkuhn which press-fits the objective. It folds to fit in the Morrocan Leather covered case with the interior bottom lined with blue velour and the top with purple silk with a gold signature of 'John Browning, 63 Strand, London.'   The signature on the microscope is the same as the inside of the lid, with the addition of the serial number, 635.


Browning Engraving John Browning was a famous optical instrument maker, best known for spectroscopes of all forms, including those for the microscope ('microspectroscope') and telescope; he made other optical devices including microscope objectives. Examples of an objective, microspectroscope, and telescope spectroscope eyepiece, are all parts of this collection as is a copy of his book 'How to Work with the Spectroscope'. His books on the spectroscope are classics. He operated at the address noted on this instrument from 1872 to 1900. He was at the address in the advertisement shown here from 1868 to 1876, showing that the design dates to 1876 or earlier. The serial number on this instrument correlates with known serial numbers which seem to have ranged between 287 and 880 according to Dr Bracegirdle. The address noted in the case top was the address he had later and is the address given in an ad in Nature, No 499, Vol 20 from May 22 1879 which illustrates this stand. Even though as can be seen in the earlier ad, this model of microscope was first produced no later than 1876, it was still referred to as 'New' in the 1879 ad. It is remarkable that the price of this microscope, both in 1876 and 1879 was £1 11s 6d; this would be about £140 today, or about $235 in U.S. currency. This compares to the price for the Browning Miniature microscope at £344 or $578 today. This makes the 'Mini' quite pricey and may explain why the 'Mini' is so rare today-it was never a cheap item, and likely not many were sold.