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MAKER: Etienne Pilot (A)

c. 1900


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understage This is a Lister limb microscope with an English or 'Crouch' foot. This type of foot was frequently used in England by Swift and Crouch, but even Walter Bulloch of the U.S.A. used this type of foot early on. The 35 mm diameter mirror is flat and single in a gimbal which has a fixed position. The tailpiece is solidly screwed to the underside of the stage. There is well-functioning iris diaphragm under the stage, as seen to the left. Two stage clips are screwed into the 55 mm wide stage. There is only coarse focusing by rack and pinion. A bullseye condenser is articulated to a moveable ring around the lower optical tube. There is a triple button objective and a single eyepiece. The instrument is unsigned. In operating position, the instrument is about 25 cm (10 inches) high. The foot is about 92 mm wide at its widest point on the outer surfaces. For its size this is a well made instrument that still functions well but with all the lenses, still has only moderate magnification. Although it has a nice inclination joint, it does not quite reach the horizontal position.



Etienne Pilot was a Parisian scientific instrument maker specializing in basic microscopes, gyroscopes, physics demonstration apparatus, and electrical devices, including telephones circa 1900. The model shown here was used as a logo on his stationary and must have been one of his most popular designs. It has typical French button objectives but at the same time an English foot and Lister Limb. It was apparently popular outside of France, as it is not rare in the United States today. An example is part of the the Billings Collection in Washington, D.C. It apparently was supplied with a simple wheel of apertures but this upgraded version has an iris diaphragm. Pilot was at 60, rue Pernéty XIVe arrondissement, Paris in 1900.