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Single-Lens
Gould-Style Microscope

Charles Gould, an instrument maker in William Cary's London shop, constructed a pocket microscope in the 1820s designed to be portable enough for both laboratory and routine field work. Gould described this microscope in an 1827 publication entitled The Companion to the Microscope, which included detailed information about both single-lens and compound versions of the microscope.

Many nineteenth-century microscope craftsmen produced models based on the original Gould concept. The microscope illustrated above was made in 1820 and signed by Robert Banks, who was Optician to the Prince of Wales. This simple instrument consists of a mahogany box that serves as a base to which the microscope central pillar is attached via a boss in the top. The stage, shown here with a bone "slider", is moved up and down on the pillar with a rack and pinion mechanism, and is illuminated by reflection from the concave substage mirror. An arm, located at the top of the pillar, houses threads for the objectives (three are shown in the illustration) that can screw one into another to produce varying degrees of magnification. Typically the microscope was provided with three objectives: low, medium, and high power.

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