The Evolution of the Microscope by S. Bradbury

By S. Bradbury

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1 . 1 6 . Bonanni's horizontal microscope of 1 6 9 1 . Note the rackwork coarse focus adjustment and the lamp with the substage condenser. The microscope and the lamp are mounted on a single board to ensure that they are in the same relationship at all times. The First Microscopes 31 32 The First Microscopes 6. T h e i n s t r u m e n t s h o u l d b e stable, so t h a t t h e eye c o u l d be r e m o v e d a n d w h e n it is replaced t h e i m a g e w o u l d still be in focus a n d t h e field w o u l d still b e t h e s a m e so that the object m i g h t b e d r a w n easily.

W h e n a n object w a s s i m p l y h e l d u n d e r t h e m i c r o s c o p e for e x a m i n a t i o n t h e results m u s t s o o n h a v e b e e n c o n s i d e r e d unsatisfactory; n o t o n l y w o u l d t h e object b e m a g n i f i e d b u t also e v e r y m i n u t e t r e m o r w h i c h is present e v e n in t h e steadiest h a n d , so m a k i n g accurate o b s e r v a tions v e r y t i r e s o m e . T h i s p r o b l e m w a s o v e r c o m e b y use o f a feature designed t o h o l d t h e object a n d a l l o w o f its m o v e m e n t i n a n y desired plane.

C l a y a n d C o u r t (the a u t h o r s o f a s t a n d a r d b o o k o n t h e h i s t o r y o f early microscopes) believe t h e field lens m u s t b e a t t r i b u t e d to M o n c o n y s w h o described it, a n d tells us t h a t it w a s m a d e i n 1660 b y t h e " s o n - i n - l a w o f W i s e l i n s " , w h o w a s said to b e C a m p a n i , a l t h o u g h n o d o c u m e n t a r y e v i d e n c e o f this r e l a t i o n s h i p has s u r v i v e d . T h e r e is e v i d e n c e , f r o m a letter w r i t t e n b y D r .

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