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c. 1885

SIGNED: 'W.H.WALMSLEY&Co.' on one limb of the 'W' and 'PHILADELPHIA' on the other limb.




Walmsley Household  Microscope

Walmsley Household  Microscope Walmsley Household  Microscope
Walmsley Household  Microscope Walmsley Household  Microscope



Walmsley Household Scope Foot Walmsley Household Scope Foot The microscope is a small Lister Limb instrument, which has as its distinctive feature, its foot. The foot takes the form of the firm's letters, W and H. It is signed 'W.H.WALMSLEY&Co.' on one limb of the W and 'PHILADELPHIA' on the other limb. The gimbaled single-sided mirror is on a fixed tailpiece and is of the concave form. Focusing is by sliding the tube in its sleeve. The limb, stage and tailpiece are a single casting. There are two stage clips.


W. H. WalmsleyWilliam Henry Walmsley (1830-1905) worked for Queen and Company, who were, since about 1870, 'Sole' U.S. agents for R. & J. Beck. When he left to start his own enterprise, he became the manager for the Philadelphia 'Branch' of Beck, and Walmsley was listed as 'Manager' on the Trade Card. About 1884 Walmsley had formed 'W.H. Walmsley and Co.' and by 1890 this became 'W.H. Walmsley Ltd.' Although he sold for Beck in the 1880's, even when under his own name, by 1890 he was selling 'exclusively' Bausch & Lomb microscopes. Walmsley was not only a salesman of microscopes, but sold slides and photographic supplies.

Walmsley was also quite a good microscopist, respected in this field and also in photography including especially photomicrography. He was active in mycology and authored several articles, and a book about photomicrography, 'The A.B.C. of Micrography' in 1902. He died in October of 1905. He was a founding member of the American Microscopical Society, and was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a member of many other learned societies, including the Royal Microscopical Society.

The 'Household Microscope' or 'Universal Household Microscope' was a concept first conceived and marketed by T.H. McAllister in about 1867, and other dealers such as Queen sold McAllister household microscopes. Eventually many American makers including Queen copied this pattern, marketing their own versions, but most if not all were imported, apparently from France. As this competition increased, even T. H. McAllister was said to have bowed to the financial pressure and imported his from France also. W.Y. McAllister also marketed a version different from T.H, another imported variant. Most of these were typified by a cast signature on the foot, and some actually had the foot cast in a design of their initials. The most well-known version was by R. & J. Beck of Philadelphia, but as seen here, Walmsley followed suit.

Location and Occupation of W.H. Walmsley
1870-1877 Partner, Queen and Company, Philadelphia
1877 to c. 1884 'Manager' for R.& J. Beck, Philadelphia
1884-c. 1890 W. H. Walmsley and Co.
1890-1900's W.H. Walmsley Ltd.

Reference: Herbert, J. F: Necrology: William Henry Walmsley (Born October 12th, 1830-Died October 22nd, 1905). Trans Am Microscopical Soc Vol 31, No 3, Jul 1912.