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Swift "Wale" limb brass binocular microscope – circa 1895

George Wale of New York designed what he called his "New Working" limb in 1879. It replaced the typical pivoting limb in wide use at that time, with a slot cut into the sides of a semi-circular limb. His innovative design allowed for a smooth, and complete radial incline of the body. A tightening screw provided a very positive lock for the body in even the most inclined position. This arrangement was incorporated by Swift into the instrument seen here, and reached its culmination in the famous Ross "Radial" model. The instrument shown here measures 13 " tall in closed position. It is signed, "J. Swift & Son, 81 Tottenham Court Rd., London", on the base. Coarse focus is rack and pinion, and fine focus with a micrometer knob on the side of the barrel near the nosepiece. A sliding lever adjusts the width of the binocular eyepieces. The plano-concave mirror is in excellent condition on both sides, and swings sideways on the tail piece. The microscope comes complete with three original Swift lenses and matching canisters. The lenses are 1", 2/3", and 1/6". The two eyepieces are unmarked. The Wenham prism is complete, clear, and has sharp edges. A wheel of diaphragm stops is built into the middle of the stage.  Accessories include an original rotating nicol prism condenser and accompanying analyzer with brass end caps, a dual objective nose piece adapter, and a standing bulls eye condenser. The body inclines completely on its unique Wale limb and is easily locked in place with a brass knob and screw in the base. The instrument is housed in its original hand dove-tailed mahogany case with brass carry handle. The polished case is in very good overall condition. The microscope is finished in lacquered brass with a black japanned brass base and limb. The lacquer is nearly complete with spotting overall that is evident in the photos. The black finish is excellent with very little brassing. This is a very complete, and working example of a very unique design in the history of the 19th century microscope.

Item 1164

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