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“New Working Microscope” by George Wale – circa 1879

An exceptional microscope by George Wale, this instrument has several highly innovative design features, some of which were later copied by major microscope manufacturers.  Most significant is the method of inclining the microscope with a radial arm.  The base fits into the semi-circular slot on the lower limb and, once positioned, is easily tightened in place with a brass knob.  The ease and functional stability of this design is further enhanced by its utter simplicity. Carpenter in his book, “The Microscope and its Revelations” (1891), states that “…nothing can be more satisfactory than either the smoothness of the inclining movement or the balancing of the instrument in all positions….”  A further innovation, the rotating slide clips, is a simple replacement for a rotating stage.  The slide clips are joined into a single unit that clamps onto the stage and is easily rotate in grooves cut into the top and bottom of the stage.   The microscope also has the patented (1876) iris diaphragm built into the stage and almost flush to the top of the open circle through which the slide is viewed.   This tiny diaphragm opens and closes by rotating a sub-stage knob.  The microscope stands 11” tall when fully closed.  It has a plano-concave mirror that is excellent on the plane side, but shows age separation along the periphery of the concave side.  It is quite usable as is.  The coarse focus is rack and pinion, the fine focus with a micrometer knob atop the limb.  The fine focus mechanism is very smooth and responsive.  The set includes two original objectives, a 2/3” and a 1/5”.  Both are signed, “Geo. Wale, Histological Series”, and come with matching brass canisters.  Two eyepieces complete the optical system, which is excellent, producing sharp images of good colors and contrast.   William Wales, the cousin of George, may be responsible for the excellent quality and finish of these lenses.  The microscope is finished in varnished brass with a black painted iron base. Varnish coverage is complete with only minimal wear. The microscope comes with its original hand dove-tailed walnut case with lock and key, and interior accessory drawer.  The case is in excellent condition, noting an age crack running about half way along the front door panel.   The microscope is a museum quality instrument, rarely found today, in excellent working condition overall.  The radial limb design first used here by George Wale was picked up and used in instruments made by Swift, and in the exceptional Bausch & Lomb Concentric, and famous Ross Radial models. 

Item 1235

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