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c. 1770's


Martin's CulpeperThis microscope, unfortunately no longer in my collection, is a small version of a Culpeper type microscope. It came in a sharkskin covered box with wood lining painted red. The lid is lined with a pink cloth over padding. Accessories include three objectives, one of which is stored on the microscope, a Bonnani-type spring stage, a glass vial for a tadpole, eel or small fish, and three bone sliders. The supports for the stage and sleeve for the optical tube are solid, continuous, and straight in this model, as opposed to being curved in many other models, as seen on an example by George Adams being on this site. As was true for some other cases that Benjamin Martin housed his instruments in, the maker was not afraid to use angled compartments to house the contents. Benjamin Martin died in 1782. Martin pictured a very similar microscope in his Optical Essays of 1765. Apparently early on, the optical tube of this type of microscope was wood or cardboard covered in Shagreen. It apparently also had a wooden foot (base). In time, lacquered brass likely replaced the shagreen-covered wood and cardboard tube, as in the example shown on this web page. The all-brass example shown here is likely a bit later than that shown in the engraving to the left. This type of change, to all brass, also took place in Martin's 'Drum' microscopes.