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Nuremberg Toy Tripod Microscope

Craftsmen in Nuremberg (Bavaria) are famous for their superb wooden toys manufactured in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Among these toys were wooden microscopes fashioned with soft wood and card board. The Culpeper-style wooden toy microscope illustrated below was photographed and described by Gerard Turner in his excellent volume Collecting Microscopes.

This microscope features the popular tripod-style body support with a wooden base, which has a single reflection mirror attached. Specimens are placed in the wooden holder at the base of the microscope body. A simple eye lens and single objective allowed a modest amount of magnification with significant optical aberration. Focus is achieved by moving a draw-tube up and down with respect to the main microscope body. A similar wooden microscope modeled after popular German-style drum microscopes, is also featured in the museum.

BACK TO EIGHTEENTH CENTURY MICROSCOPES

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