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MICROSCOPE-ANTIQUES.COM     2013-15.



PILLAR TYPE LINEN PROVER MICROSCOPE:

19TH CENTURY

INTRODUCTION DESCRIPTION HISTORY

folding provers The simplest type of linen prover, is the 'PILLAR TYPE LINEN PROVER.'   These instruments, seen in catalogs no later than 1840, and likely sold long before that, were referred to as 'Cloth Microscopes for ascertaining the number of threads in a given space of linen cloth.'   The most elementary types had no facility for focusing, but others with screw focus were also available. They came in models supported by a single pillar, two pillars or even three. Of the three examples shown here, the one on the right is later, lighter, and of lower quality of construction. The tripod types on this page had screw focusing, while the one with two pillars by Neill, has fixed focusing.

For more information about all types of linen provers see the Article on This Website about all types of Linen Provers and Thread counters.

DESCRIPTIONS

neill proverFrom the third quarter of the 19th century, this two-pillar prover is signed: 'J. Neill & Co, Belfast.'   James Neill & Co. succeeded Neill Brothers in 1863. This form is quite common, but uncommonly signed. A slightly more complex variant closely resembles this one, but is a bit larger and has a screw focus for the lens.

 

triple prover This example, well made and also quite small, features three pillars and screw focusing. It is a rare form and also dates from the middle third of the nineteenth century.

 

triple prover This flimsier example is much later, lighter and may even date from the 20th century, though not a common model. The threading is not sound on this example.



HISTORY OF PILLAR TYPE LINEN PROVERS:

prover ad from PikeThis type of linen prover was commonly offered for sale in the nineteenth century, but supplanted by the Folding 'C' form and the 'Thread Counter' in the early twentieth century. For more about the history of linen provers, see the history section of the article about linen provers.