Back Button


Simple Microscope for Viewing Slides, especially Microphotographs


MAKER: Dwight Lyman Smith

c. c 2nd half 19th C (1839-1905)


This is a simple microscope designed and made by D.L. Smith. It is made of light tin and has a focusable single biconvex lens. Slides fit into the rectangular opening which could also accomodate other microscope slides of the same size, though I am not aware that Smith himself ever supplied anything but photographs. The lens is focused by simply pulling or pushing it. It has a rotating reflector featuring a mirror on one side and a "white cloud" type surface on the other. The photographs are much larger than the microphotographs popularized by J. B. Dancer. It came with its original wooden case and a small collection of glass slides as well as the original paperwork. It is missing the cardboard box for the slides. The original wooden spacers are still present. The instructions that come with these instruments state that the white side of the reflector is for viewing the photographs and the mirrored side is for viewing regular transparent objects. There is an opening on the side of the micrograph allowing for light to be directed onto opaque objects on slides. The instrument only accomodates narrow slides, not the standard size 1 inch side slides.


For a nice illustrated history of the Micrograph, and its maker, please see the article by Brian Stevenson on his site,