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DATE: c. 1917


SIGNED: 'Spencer Buffalo U.S.A., 46937'



60H microscopeSpencer 60 H with extrasDESCRIPTION: This heavy, but highly compact microscope, is signed on the tube 'Spencer Buffalo U.S.A.' in an insignia and has below this the serial number, 46937. It is also signed on the triple nose piece 'Spencer Lens Co' and on the attachable graduated mechanical stage signed 'Spencer Buffalo U.S.A.'. It is equipped with three objectives (10X, 44X, and 95X HI) and two (6X and 10X) oculars. There is a graduated drawtube. The plano-concave mirror is on an articulated gimbal mount. Coarse focus is by rack and pinion, fine via a calibrated side fine adjustment. The adjustable substage can be raised and lowered via a Spencer type of quick screw adjustment. There is an iris diaphragm and achromatic condenser. This example included three different condensers, the standard achromatic, a Spencer Darkfield condenser (centerable) and a Carl Zeiss Cardioid. This example includes the Spencer mechanical stage, but lacks the original stage clips. Also lacking are the three objective cans, Included are a dark stop, two eyepieces, and an aluminum can with round coverslips.. It packs in the original case, along with the special mechanical stage and other accessories, but there is no room in the case for the extra condensers which were cased separately. The achromatic substage condenser has its own iris as does the substage assembly above it, but when the standard condenser is in place, a stop prevents accidental opening of the upper iris which would abut the lens of the condenser. The case is a heavy alloy of aluminum. The case has provisions for including in the case items a physician might use including a cell counting slide (hemocytometer), blood diluting pipets, slides, etc. The manner in which these accessories and the mechanical stage are stored is quite ingenious. The microscope itself has a hole bored into the limb which fits into a steel rod within the case to locate the microscope correctly for storage and limits its motion in the case.

The Spencer portable and its accessories pack into its case in a clever fashion as illustrated here. The hemocytometer slide is placed in the case above the metal holder for the mechanical stage. This piece of metal has a knurled knob to clamp the mechancial stage in place. The microscope itself folds up and can be inserted into the case after the prior pieces. Note that also placed under the microscope is an aluminum can to hold cover slips which must also be put back in the case before the microscope itself. sequence of packing the 60H


This microscope belonged to a physician in the Province of Ontario Canada. It was a typical use for this portable folding microscope from about 1915. This model was the 60H. It is this model number as identified by the inclusion of the achromatic condenser, along with the above three objectives; other models included fewer objectives or accesories. One slightly more expensive model, the 60J included a 82X oil immersion fluorite instead of the 95X achromatic. The 60 H without the mechanical stage sold for $175 in 1924 and the mechanical stage an additional $35. This would bring the price to $210 (about $3570 in 2014). Another optional accessory was the camera lucida of which 2 models were available, 1 for $32 & 1 for $22. A hemoglobinometer could also be fitted. This rugged, but heavy, microscope is clearly one of the highest quality portable microscopes ever devised and is a tribute to American ingenuity. This microscope model was chosen by the members to form the central part of the Logo for the Microscopical Society of Southern California.