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Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:50 pm
by apochronaut
This microscope , made around 1919-1920 was the first mass produced microscope model made in Japan. M&Katera was formed in 1914 and was a fusion of the names of the founders; Fukumatsu Matsumoto(M), the financier & Kato Kakitsu(Ka) and Terada Shintar(tera). Terada Shintar was the engineer , later going over to Kogaku Kikai Sensakusho( a thermometer maker), to design microscopes for them. That company eventually morphed into Olympus and M&Katera morphed into Chiyoda( Tiyoda) in 1931.
It is therefore the direct progenitor of both Olympus and Tiyoda.

The stand is similar to others of the period,being basically a copy ; probably of a Leitz. It has a smooth coarse focus and good fine focus acting on the central arm. The optics have been considered to be made by E.Leitz by some but there are sufficient differences in the barrels, to indicate them to be made in house. Possibly the lens elements came from Leitz and were placed in their cells in the Tokyo factory. This particular instrument has an M&Katera #3 objective ( about 10X) and a #7 E. Leitz objective( about 60X), which I fitted. It has a 5 hole disc diaphragm, and a 2 sided focusable mirror. The body and base are entirely brass and the base is beautifully Japanned. It weighs 6 1/4 lbs.

One bit of evidence, regarding the origin of the optics is the #3 eyepiece. The tube is 23.1mm and the eyepiece O.D. is exactly 23mm. No other eyepiece I have tried , which by R.M.S. standards are 23.3mm for the tube and necessarily a little less for the eyepiece, will fit in this tube. It is almost as though, the measurements were obtained by correspondence or assumed from some degree of measurements and the idea that the tube needed to be exactly 23mm stuck in someones head. It is unlikely that this eyepiece was made by Leitz.

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:56 pm
by billbillt
That is a fine looking old stand, and seems to perform very well..


Re: M&Katera

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:49 pm
by JimT
Apochronaut, that is a fine looking antique instrument.

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:52 pm
by Charles
I like it, nice scope and lineage! The Japanese did use a lot of the German microscopes as models for their own. It does look a lot like the Leitz of that time as can be seen here:
Three Leitz Right.jpg
Three Leitz Right.jpg (79.64 KiB) Viewed 4033 times

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:12 pm
by gekko
Thank you, apochronaut, for this very interesting post (as usual), with very interesting history and nice images. And thanks to Charles for the old Leitz images.

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:25 am
by apochronaut
Charles wrote:I like it, nice scope and lineage! The Japanese did use a lot of the German microscopes as models for their own. It does look a lot like the Leitz of that time as can be seen here:
Three Leitz Right.jpg
you bring up an interesting point.
There seems to be a cuttoff point in microscope design, each decade or so, where common styles or technologies get replaced and the industry moves forward. Had the M&Katera been unbranded and been carrying Leitz objectives it would most likely have been taken for a Leitz microscope . It was common for some makers; B&L and Spencer in particular to sell unmarked stands to be later branded as house brands by science supply houses and lab wholesalers or the like. These can show up with unmarked objectives or as is often the case with marked objectives , which immediately become the determining piece of evidence of the stands origin, whether they are the correct brand or not.
All center fine focus monocular microscopes bear a great resemblance to each other, even though the M&Katera was late to the party and by 1920 that design was becoming obsolete in Europe and N.A.. It's in the fine details, that the stands differ.
and it takes some experience to recognize those details. It is easy to mistake one for another , when they are otherwise unmarked and carry branded objectives.

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:11 am
by vasselle
Très beau microscope.
Cordialement seb

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:33 pm
by charlie g
I love the quite organic history you share with us about this stand, and it's future tribes of stands, thank you apochronaut.

And of couse thank you Charles for those images of Leitz of that time period.

Does that 60X objective function without a substage condenser, apochronaut? Any guess if the serial number etched on the body tube implies that actual number of this stand were manufactured?

A 60X objective on a student microscope is quite impressive ( in my mind)...was this a student microscope?

I love these old stands and the rich history you share, apochronaut. charlie guevara

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:21 pm
by apochronaut
The history on this company, indicates that they had some sort of relationship with Leitz. When the microscope came into my hands, it had a non-functional 60X objective in it( not M&KATERA), so to fill the hole I installed a good functional Leitz objective. I have no way of knowing , whether the original objective in the microscope was a 60X , although I have found pictures of some similar ones in Japan, that do have a 60X in them and those objectives are either a Leitz, or a very close copy of one.
The 60X objective gives a pretty good image , as long as there is adequate light. It would probably do better with a condenser but here is a picture I took some time ago, with it.

Japan had only a marginal domestic microscope industry, when this was made. This company was the first to mass produce microscopes and when this was made, it was the most sophisticated microscope made in Japan. Better quality imported microscopes were probably very expensive. Not long after, M&Katera and also Olympus developed more lab oriented scopes with condensers and triple nosepieces. No doubt this little student scope was pressed into service, to be used in a capacity to which it was only marginally fitted to, many times.
This one was made around 1920, based on the shape of the base. Others, in museums, or in documents have a straighter horseshoe base and they date into the 1920's. The earlier microscopes , going back to 1914 were a simpler, design. This one was first produced in 1919, so the serial # on this one probably dates to 1919 or 1920.

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:57 pm
by charlie g
I do see the striations on the frustule of the diatom located at 10-11 o clock position...and this without a condenser.

Thanks apochronaut...I hope your fallen leaves are not as thick as the carpet we need to deal with! charlie guevara

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:23 pm
by apochronaut
Thanks; Charlie. Yes, the image with the 60X isn't too bad. That's a pretty thick diatom sample too, so it probably overruns the optimum coverslip thickness for that 60X objective by quite a margin.

Yes; lots of leaves and they are late this year. They are a fantastic fertilizer and winter cover but I am always slack at keeping the black walnut leaves where they belong. It is an interesting study to see the differences in species response to Juglone. Sugar Maple seedlings seems to thrive on it. I had a very healthy patch of red Jerusalem Artichokes. Juglone has destroyed it. They definitely need a new home. Did the ferns in too(Matteuccia struthiopteris), although there are just a few in that spot. There is a 1/2 acre or so of those, well away from the black walnuts, greatly increasing, year by year.

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:31 pm
by charlie g
I have a huge black walnut towers..and nothing but grasses grown under its huge crown of limbs...the walnuts drop the size of lemons...though the squirrels horde these nuts...still it's a field of 'ball bearings' to walk about all those nuts...wish I knew a use for all that fruit! charlie guevara

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:37 pm
by apochronaut
When they are young and green still and if you are young and green enough to climb a 15 ft. ladder, you can harvest them and pickle them whole. You need to be able to push a needle through them still. I have done this and they are quite good.

As ripe nuts. Husk them, and dry the nuts in the shell for another month or so. Put the nuts in a pillow slip or cotton bag lay a dozen or so flat on a concrete or stone and whack each one really well with a hammer. Some portions may need to be rewhacked but a little patience and a nutpick will yield a delicious and intensely flavoured walnut. I've been eating them since I was a tyke. We used to dry them on top of the coal furnace. Several diy researchers have devised better techniques of cracking them and some work has been done to select nuts with a larger kernel to shell ratio as well as thinner more easily crackable shells. One of my trees produces tennis ball sized nuts regularly, with the husked nuts weighing about 16 to a lb.

It gets overlooked that the English walnut of commerce has only been commonly available in North America since California took to growing them in the central valley in the early part of the 20th century and subsequently became the leading walnut producer in the world. This means that all of those old recipes, from North American farmsteads, that featured walnuts were devised with black walnuts.

Hammons black walnuts in Missouri process 15,000 tons of wild harvested black walnuts per year. They sell them both shelled and unshelled, as well as in number of value added black walnut products.. They are in the forefront in the development of shelling technology and can ship pallet loads of shelled black walnuts at a moments notice

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:42 am
by charlie g
Thanks for the spouse told me the skins of b;ack walnuts ( we have a shower of lemon sized walnuts each fall) ...when the skins are fleshy and green,,,my spouse told me these are toxic. I never looked into it...I just marvel at how this drop of lemon sized fruits are more than the squirrels can gather and eat.

I should do my homework and see if black walnut trees are monecius or deiecius...I'd love to dig out a tender black walnut sapling and 'bonzi tame it in a pot'. Under my huge b;ack walnut tree only grasses grow,,,I guess all the black walnuts which drop are infertile somehow!??

Re: M&Katera

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:36 am
by apochronaut
Not likely are they infertile. They have to be buried and stratified to grow, and squirrels do take a lot of them and bury them, so they are the responsible parties for the plants dissemination. You may be in a coddling moth hotspot, too and they will consume the kernel. If you find the squirrels are leaving a lot behind ; they can smell which nuts are still good inside, so they leave the crappy ones behind.

The trees are dichogamous, producing male and female flowers on the same tree but with a lack of stamen, pistil overlap. Different trees have a differently timed pollen release, so each tree usually must get it's wind borne pollen from another tree. This guarantees a lack of self pollination, which presumably helps to diversify the gene pool.

The husks, are not toxic and have been used variously as a vermifuge and for an easily fixed dye.. which changes from a yellow dye when the husks are young to a brown dye , when the husks are ripe. The confederate uniforms, were dyed with black walnut husks.