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Ernst Leitz Compound Monocular Tissue Examination Microscope

Designed by Dr. E. Nebelthau (Marburg, Germany) for examining very large sections of tissue or bacterial culture plates, this compound monocular microscope was built by the Ernst Leitz Company in Wetzlar, Germany in 1896. The model featured below was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, which is part of the Billings microscope collection at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC.

The cast iron base of this rather large microscope has the sides cut away to form legs to support the instrument. The limb of the microscope is positioned on a large beam that is secured to the base by two thick brass pillars. The body tube/limb combination is translated from side to side by means of a lateral track and screw mechanism that has handles at the ends to turn the assembly. The stage is made of a glass plate resting on a frame supported by four columns, which can also be translated laterally with a pair of knurled knobs. A rectangular mirror beneath the stage has a milled head. The body tube had a nosepiece that holds several objectives and is focused with a rack and pinion mechanism.

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