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MICROSCOPE-ANTIQUES.COM     2013-16.




BRASS CYLINDER MICROSCOPES FROM THE 2 ND AND 3RD QUARTER OF THE 20TH CENTURY

ORIGIN: GERMANY,
later WEST GERMANY

DESCRIPTION HISTORY

INTRODUCTION:
Small pocket-sized cylinder microscopes made mostly of brass date back hundreds of years. Examples from the 1700's and 1800's as well as the early 20th century are to be found on this site. The 'Microscope or Floroscope' may be the commonest antique microscope ever sold. What many people do not realize is that small inexpensive variations of these microscopes not only continued into the twentieth century, but actually into its second and third quarter. On this page are examples of these. They included one called the 'Brilliant U50' and another called the 'Mikro' as well as the 'Minivex' and one simply called the 'Small Microscope'. Other very similar examples with slightly different names also exist.

DESCRIPTIONS:

microscope

 microscope

 microscope

u50 instrAbove is the 'Brillant U50,' this example from the second quarter of the twentieth century. It came in a small wooden case (measuring 81 X 81 X 40 mm externally), with instructions in English on the lid (shown to the left) and a few slides. The optical element is housed in a Bakelite-like material. It is signed 'Germany' on the bottom diaphragm. The microscope measures 29 mm in external diameter and is about 53 mm long with the slot measuring 30 mm wide. It came with three plane slides measuring 61.5 X 19 X 1 mm, and one prepared slide labeled 'Veinus Acid.' Note that this microscope and the 'Mikro' shown below, both can accept not only the small slides provided but also the standard size 1 inch (25 mm) wide.

microscope

 microscope

 microscope

instructionscaseThis microscope, also likely from the second quarter of the 20th Century, called the 'Mikro,' with instructions written in German(translation provided in blue by me) is similar to the Brillant U50, but has an attachment with a small incandescent light source. It is unsigned and does not bear its country of origin on the instrument itself. The optical cylinder has an outside diameter of 29 mm and is 55 mm long. The lighting attachment measures 30 mm in outside diameter and is about 53 mm long excluding the bulb. It was designed to accept a battery that is no longer produced measuring about 20 mm in diameter and 40 mm long. The user had the option of using natural lighting or the electric source. This would have used a battery from the time when the outer side covering of the battery, made of thin paper, was easily removed. Contact was then made with the side of the battery, by pushing in the chromed button on the side to complete the circuit. Again a Bakelite-like material houses the optics. The battery compartment is closed with a disk-shaped wooden fitting, which is painted a flat black color, with two screws projecting out horizontally. This disk is secured by engaging the two pins which fit snugly into small cutouts in the bottom of the light source cylinder. The fitted main case is made of a light colored wood. Two slides are included, one plane, and one depression slide. A single small cover slip is also in the kit. The slides measure 58 X 17 X 1 mm. The exterior dimensions of the box are 105 X 94 X 42 mm. The slot is wide enough to accept not only the small slides provided, but also standard 1 inch (24 mm) wide slides.

microscope

 microscope

 microscope

 microscope

 microscope

This instrument is very similar to the 'Brillant U50' but has a nifty case with accessories and sliding cover. Further it features the convenience of a stand and mirror.

microscope

 microscope

 microscope

This instrument is very similar to the 'Brillant U50' and the preceding entry, but uses a wire stand rather than the solid construction in the one immediately above it. It too features the convenience of a stand and mirror.


HISTORY

scopeAs mentioned above, these instruments were sold in the second and third quarter of the twentieth century. Shown here is an ad from 1956.